People sometimes wonder if they should try to get a job when they do not have all of the job description qualifications. Sometimes, it is a good idea to give it a go. In other instances, you might want to take a pass and look for positions that better suit your very particular set of skills.
Although no single answer suits all candidates and all job openings, there are a few things worth taking into consideration before you begin applying to a job for which you appear underqualified.
You Should Be in the Ballpark
When figuring out whether or not to apply to an open position, list all the stated and suggested requirements. Put a line through the requirements that you meet. If you can make a strong case for how you can overcome not having certain requirements, you ought to strongly consider applying to the job.
Pay attention to distinctions between the essential requirements and preferred requirements. For instance, a software developer position may list Java ability as an essential skill, but one year of leadership experience as a preferred qualification. Employers often consider applicants that don’t have qualities listed as preferred, as long as they have the core qualifications.
You May Be the Most Qualified Applicant
It’s hard for candidates to know how their competition stacks up for a particular job opening. Companies will often list the optimal qualifications in a job posting but don’t expect to get applications from individuals who actually satisfy all the requirements.
Because of this, it is useful to consider the possibility that you would be among the most qualified applicants if you were to apply, despite not being the perfect candidate.
Plan to Fill Gaps, if Possible
When going over the position requirements, consider whether you would be able to gain any necessary qualifications you don’t already have in the very near future. For instance, you may have the skills and knowledge for an essential certification. You simply need to sign up for and pass a certification exam. You can easily convey your intention and eagerness to address a gap to the potential employer in this situation.
If addressing gaps in essential qualifications calls for a significant investment of time and effort, you could pass on applying to the job and consider gaining the qualification part of a professional development plan.
Consider Rolling the Dice Anyway
People looking for a new job who have a lot of time and energy are better positioned to seek jobs that are a bit of a reach. If you’ve got the time, you don’t have much to lose by chasing a long shot. Ideally, you should also be applying to jobs for which you are well qualified.
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