Do you ever wonder: Am I making myself “overqualified” for the jobs out there with this education I’m getting? That word – overqualified – may seem like a compliment, but it also can be the kiss of career death when it comes to a job interview.

I spoke recently with Maribeth Kuzmeski, and she feels a mom with a degree is in a golden position. Sure, you have more book smarts now. But you also have a great attitude (we hope), a strong resume and well-organized examples of how your work, studies, experience fit into the job you are seeking.

“When you ignore candidates based on your own assumptions or perceptions about what you see on their résumés, you run the risk of missing out on great employees,” said Kuzmeski, the author of The Connectors: How the World’s Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life, and the new book …And the Clients Went Wild! How Savvy Professionals Win All the Business They Want.

She knows something of education – and of parenting. Kuzmeski graduated with a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and has an MBA in marketing from The George Washington University. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two teenagers.

Here’s her thoughts on how these three essential ideas will help you get yourself out of the resume stack and behind a desk, working.

  • Show you have the right attitude. Let the interviewer really know that you want this job. You want it more than anything. It’s not just a passing fancy, it’s not a last-minute effort. Show them your gusto for the job, working and getting on with it.

“I believe today we should be hiring people more for their attitudes. I don’t believe there’s such as thing as over-qualified,” Kuzmeski told me. “I think you either have the things that make you qualified or you don’t. … and Moms have lots of job qualifications. Being a mom is like being a manager. You’re managing all sort sorts of things, and you’re a leader.

  • Looking for connections. Yes, if you’ve had a lapse in your job history or your career path may have wandered a bit, your resume might be buried under the stack. But if you apply, get your name out there through personal or professional relationships, then you have a change to get noticed and in the right ways, Kuzmeski said.

“If you’re going to apply for a job at Company A, you need to find someone who works there. Work that angle hard, and you’ll get your resume pulled to the top,” she said. “You want to get noticed, and using sites like LinkedIn and Facebook is critical today. That is how you will let them know about your attitude and desire for the job.”

  • Kuzmeski also believes you must find correlations between your education – which you have worked so hard for during these years – and your skills. Then, you must put them in line with the job position you desire. Some people forget to do this – they send out general resumes for every job opening they can find. But it is essential to put your words together with those in the job listing…find out what the employer wants, and cull your skills to meet those needs.

“Be able to think on your feet, especially during the interview,” Kuzmeski said. “If they say something about the job, quickly move in and give them some examples of how you could solve their problems or how you’ve actively resolved that issue on the job. … Maybe you don’t have experience in that industry, but these skills will translate.”

If you want to know more, check out her Web site Red Zone Marketing LLC, which consults with businesses from entrepreneurial firms to Fortune 500 corporations on strategic marketing planning and business growth. Maribeth has personally consulted with some of the world’s most successful CEOs, entrepreneurs, and professionals. An internationally recognized speaker, she shares the tactics that businesspeople use today to create more sustainable business relationships, sales, and marketing successes.

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