It’s a common situation for any job seeker. You find a great position at a great company. One catch: you don’t meet all the listed requirements. Should you apply anyway?
In most cases, the simple answer is “yes.” Often, there is little downside to stretching yourself a bit and going after a job slightly out of your range. All they can do is turn you down, right?
A large chunk of the job market follows this strategy. One survey showed that more than two-fifths (42%) of applicants don’t meet skills requirements. And in many situations, companies are willing to be flexible about their expectations.
Of course, you’ll have a better chance of landing a position when you’re a perfect match. A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can steer you toward these situations. Reach out to SmartTalent to connect with the ideal employers for you.
In circumstances where you need to stray outside your comfort range, there are some things to keep in mind. There are situations where you rank as so unqualified that an application is a complete waste of time — and could even hurt your opportunities elsewhere. Meanwhile, there are steps you can take to maximize your chances even when you fall short in certain areas.
With that in mind, here’s what to consider if you’re not sure whether to apply for a job when you don’t meet all the posted requirements:
Understand Why You Want to Apply
What appeals to you about this position? After all, applying for the job involves stretching your qualifications to match a role that doesn’t quite fit your current resume. You should consider what aspects of the role make you want to put in the effort.
This introspection will help you decide whether to move ahead with the application. It will also assist you in making your case. If you can pick out the parts of the job that excite you or truly match your experience, you’ll be better positioned to communicate that to the potential employer.
Remember That Few Candidates Are a Perfect Match
As you size up a job description, remember that employers don’t expect to find the ideal match each time they post a position. Each role has its “must haves” and its “would be nice ifs.” As long as you meet the core requirements (don’t apply for an accounting job if you’ve never taken an accounting class), you probably have a shot.
Focus on Core Skills
Speaking of those core skills, when you apply for the position, emphasize the areas where you fit the job description. Don’t highlight the gaps in your experience. Instead, concentrate on the areas that make you a good match.
SmartTalent can help you find employers who will appreciate the value you bring. You’ll find jobs that suit your core competencies, letting you maximize your skills. Connect with SmartTalent to push your career forward.
Spotlight Other Skills You Bring to the Role
There might be qualifications that the employer didn’t consider when writing their job descriptions. You might have rare talents that add special value to the role. As you apply for the position, highlight the unique mix of abilities you bring.
Consider Similar Qualifications You Have
You might not have the exact qualifications listed. But do you have anything equivalent you can tout? For instance, maybe you haven’t mastered the precise software program they name-check in the job description. But if you’ve gained experience on a similar competitor, that might be enough to get you to the next round.
Know Which Skills You Can Add After You’re Hired
You might not have a particular skill when you apply. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t pick that up over time. Some abilities (like experience with particular software) are just a matter of finding the right training situation.
If you have other valuable traits, an employer might feel comfortable investing in an education program to get you up to speed in other skills. As such, consider your areas of shortfall. In situations where these deficits mostly relate to learnable skills, you have a real shot at convincing a hiring manager to take a shot with you.
Weigh the Downside of Applying
What do you have to lose? In many situations, applying for a job just comes down to submitting a resume and answering a few standard questions. If you’re losing a few minutes of time, you might as well take a shot.
There are times when this isn’t true. Some applications are time-consuming. Meanwhile, you might want to apply for another position with the same company. In those cases, there could be a cost to inquiring about a role where you fall embarrassingly short of expectations.
Ready to find the perfect position for you? SmartTalent can connect you with the ideal situation for your mix of skills and experience.