Friday, June 27, 2008

Does the "overqualified" syndrome apply to today's IT market?


Toni Bowers has an interesting article in today’s Tech Republic blogs, “How do you convince potential employers that you’re not overqualified?” The link is here. Although the discussion is brief, the topic comes up a lot, particularly with older techies with many years of experience.

In the 80s and 90s, companies tended to widen the “span of control” at any level in their organizations, and “middle management” was often an unsafe place to live, especially during those notorious leveraged buyouts and mergers (especially hostile takeovers). Peons (the working “proletariat” of IT) were safer because they did the “hands on” work, often salaried, and often with a lot of uncompensated overtime. This state of affairs tended to remain true through Y2K.

However, now jobs are much more niche oriented and tend to emphasize having very specific skills. Employers may want to see evidence of sales ability, or quantifiable results expressed in numbers. Or they may want to see evidence of focused advancement. So a long resume of a “prole” without advancement may raise questions. It’s all very disturbing, because in the job market conditions of previous decades, it was often desirable to remain an individual contributor. Perhaps not any more.

I have an “overloaded” resume (mostly IBM mainframe), and it is available here.

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