Frequently, Florida recruiter Dave Moran will interview a Certified Financial Planner or another advice-giving candidate and after recommending the individual, based on the client's wish list, he'll hear back something like: "Hey, this guy (or gal) is way too experienced for me!"
It happens fairly often these days, in many businesses. In an environment where employers are trying to spend as little as possible, and where downsized senior talent is rampant, that's to be expected.
So, what do you do when you come face to face with an interviewer who lets on that you might be too senior for the position in question?
The short answer is, forget about pay and rank and what might go wrong.
You have one task and one task only, and that's to help the employer execute its vision. And, you are in a better position than most, to do just that, says Moran, a former CFP and advice giver who is now a partner in a new business called Experienced Advisors Recruiting.
First and foremost, according to Moran, when you're faced with an employer who thinks you might be too experienced, and want too much money as a result, you need to focus on the opportunity in front of you.
Talk about how your experience can help the company reach its goals
"If the candidate talks about how he or she can use their experience in different ways to help the company reach its goals, the position itself becomes a non-issue," says Moran.
Clearly, if you're pushing 50 and the office is full off giggling 22-year-olds, maybe even you'll conclude this is not the place for you. But if you like the company and the culture don't let anything else distract you.
Once an employer starts to think, "Hey, I've got someone here who really gets it," there's no telling what can happen: the firm may go so far as to create a new position around the candidate based on what's being presented.
The discussion around salary, of course, is the biggest mine field when you discover you're interviewing "down."
Convey sense that money isn't only issue
Your job here is to convey the sense that money is not the only issue and is something you'll consider more thoroughly down the road.
When the salary question is broached, you want to be able to flash a confident smile and say something like "Assuming we discover we like each other and can work well together I'll be happy to entertain your best offer," Moran advises. As soon as humanly possible, change the subject with a pithy question about the firm.
At some point, you might convey that with your heightened experience, you will be able take on more complicated work as well as become an effective mentor to junior staff.
"Financial planning has long attracted career changers who develop experience with life transitions," says an article in the September edition of Financial Planning Magazine. The piece emphasizes that as the workforce ages and people work longer, employers will increasingly find more experienced employees. Those with hiring authority will have to work harder on their own end by offering bonuses and other incentives if they want these talented workers to stick around.
A final tip from Moran: If you're working full-time at a bank or an advisory firm and don't want to short-circuit your career, never (ever!) post your resume on social media sites and don't list "career opportunities" at the bottom of your profile as a reason for contacting you.
Moran's firm, Experienced Advisors Recruiting, is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and focuses entirely on financial advisors with a minimum of five years of experience and educational credentials such as the CFP.