Apply to A Position You're Not Qualified For?
Applying for jobs online can be a tedious process. You search and you search for that perfect position, only to find yourself without a reply and in the same spot months later. But then, you find the job opportunity of a lifetime. It’s at a company you adore, close to home, and the salary estimates are above your current expectations. But should you apply to a position you’re not qualified for?
You have to apply you think to yourself.
But then, you read the “job requirements”. You see that they are looking for requirements well above your skillset. I mean, you have most of the requirements, but you’re not a perfect match. So, do you apply?
Honestly, there is no straightforward answer here. It depends on a multitude of variables.
If you’re applying for a position that has educational requirements that you don’t have, then it might be better to skip the application process. However, if you have most of the skills and requirements listed, you should take the plunge and apply.
The Job Requirements
It’s a well-known fact that companies list additional requirements that they may not deem essential. It’s more that companies are looking for someone who has a generalized understanding of those skills and can quickly adapt to them on the job.
Most companies understand that no employee is going to fit with 100% of the requirements listed. But it is done to remove unqualified candidates from the initial search.
If you have most of the requirements and you have a general understanding or are familiar with the other requirements, then you should do yourself the favor of applying. However, if you find yourself not meeting most of the requirements and experience levels, then you should not spend your time on an application.
If you do decide to apply to a position that you don’t have all of the requirements for, you’re going to have to put in a little more work to get the interview and the position. It will be up to you to sell your skills and what you bring to the table.
You should identify the gaps between the requirements and what skills you have. How can your current skills be useful and valuable to the company? How can you experience translate to a successful career at the organization?
List out your capabilities and what skills you would bring to the organization. Try to convey those skills on a cover letter or on your resume when applying. Take some extra time to refine your application so that it shows what you excel at and what you can bring to the table from day 1.
If you do happen to land an interview, you should come extra prepared. Research the current challenges that the company is having and show how your skills would translate to a successful resolution. Bring in slides and decks that you’ve previously completed showing how your work led to actionable and immediate results.
You will want to be forthright that your current skillsets allow you to tackle the problems and challenges the role faces. Don’t undersell yourself. Be aggressive in conveying your abilities.
In addition, you will want to brush up on your networking skills. Try to connect with the hiring manager on LinkedIn. Ask relevant and specific questions related to the opportunity and how you can be an asset to the organization.
Closing The Deal
Once an interview is confirmed and you’ve prepared your supporting documentation, you should close with a method-of-action. Essentially, address the challenges of the position and what your thoughts and plans are.
Let the hiring manager know that you’ve done your homework and that you have an aggressive plan to tackle said challenges. Convey, professionally, that you are the perfect fit for the position because you truly understand the challenges and are fully prepared for them.
Keep In Touch
If you don’t get the position, don’t give-up! Keep in touch via LinkedIn and email and continue to send timely updates on industry trends and news. Feel free to send new information on ways to approach problems that are plaguing the industry as a whole.
Whatever you do, stay in touch and be both professional and helpful. You never know what positions may open up in the future.