PR Pros: How to know when you’re overqualified?

OK, you are a public relations professional of a certain age, with a certain level of expertise. You find yourself adrift in the current job market, fruitlessly networking, applying to one posted position after another, with no results in sight. You are, in fact, entering the Overqualified Zone.

How do you know when you’re overqualified? Like any other terrible condition, there are signs to watch for:

  • You have worked in the profession for more than five years.
  • You can speak in complete sentences without using “OMG” or “LOL” as words.
  • You have been in the profession long enough to have a master’s degree or APR after your name.
  • You remember what it was like when computers had large floppy things called disks, and phones had cords.
  • You have real, actual experience on your resume that matches the position description.
  • You have natural gray highlights in your hair that didn’t come from a salon.
  • You can actually spell without Spellchecker.
  • You remember when “social media” was the local society columnist in the newspaper.
  • You remember when cell phones came with their own suitcase.
  • You remember when the printed page came out of a machine with its own complete keyboard and ribbon….called a typewriter.
  • The PR agency account execs look and sound to you like they’re twelve.
  • You know what a phone booth is – and have used one.
  • Professionals went to the PRSA International Conference and actually looked up at the speakers instead of down at their smart phones.
  • You remember when there actually was a news cycle.
  • And if you were really good, you wrote a press release that actually got printed on real printing presses.

This is for all my fellow unemployed 40somethings out there – we need to laugh a bit at this to keep out of the doldrums of watching the professional world pass us by. What’s your take on this? How do you know when you’re overqualified?


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