- "At this stage in my career, having a job I enjoy is more important to me than salary. I have no problem with earning less than I have in the past."
- "I want to move into this field, and I know that I need to start at a lower level in order to do that."
- "I'm deliberately looking for something with fewer responsibilities than I've had in the past so that I can spend more time with my family." (Or because you're going to school at night or have simply realized you prefer lower-pressure jobs.)
- "I wouldn't take a job I'm not excited about, and I'm excited about this one because ______."
Ideally, the time to address all of this is in your cover letter. Otherwise, you may never get the chance to say it at all, because the manager may simply assume that you don't understand the nature of the position and screen you from the start. And once you get to the interview stage, be prepared to discuss it again, likely in more detail.
If you can successfully put these doubts to rest, many hiring managers will be thrilled to hire your overqualified self. After all, you're a bargain.
Of course, I'm pretty sure she's not addressing people who are overqualified in terms of having a JD or another graduate degree, but overqualified in that they have actual work experience. Maybe we should send Allison a few law related questions. She might have a few helpful tips for law grads looking for entry level careers in other fields.
On another note, I am visiting my friend who is getting her PhD at a top tier school (and has admitted that she'll probably never find a job). Boy did she have plenty of sad stories to tell me. It amazes me how so many smart people remain clueless when it comes to applying to graduate school, taking on mounds of debt, and not realizing that there aren't any jobs to help them pay back that debt. It just shows you that anyone can be fooled and there will be millions more who will join us in the indentured educated class in the coming years.
One of her friends was laid off because her job is being outsourced. What's even sadder is that the company is now paying her to train people in Southeast Asia who will take over her job in a few months. Anyway, instead of learning her lesson she's planning to take out a huge ass loan to go to a third tier business school. Another story she told me was about a mutual acquaintance from college who is attending a tier 1 law school but can't find a job (not surprising). She goes to interview after interview and all of them tell her that as much as they like her, they aren't hiring many new graduates. My question is why then did they offer her an interview to get her hopes up when they knew that she never had a chance of getting the job? Wtf?