What should you do if you see a job you are interested in but under-qualified for? Should you just pass on it (like most people do)? Or, is there something you can do to get the employer to consider you even though you might not have all the qualifications?
Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Remember that most job postings describe the “ideal” candidate.
But in most cases that perfect candidate is not out there. Don’t be discouraged. If you meet many of the qualifications, but not all, you should still apply for the job.
Play up your transferrable skills.
Many people cannot identify their own skills and abilities. As a result, they under-value themselves when interviewing for jobs. For example, communication, interpersonal, and leadership skills can be applied in almost any job.
Show how you can add value.
Rather than just telling the hiring manager what you can do, show them. For example, you might consider preparing a short presentation with ideas that you would bring to the role.
Most candidates won’t make that extra effort. By going above and beyond, it will show you’re serious about the role and force the hiring managers to look at you as a serious candidate.
Talk about your volunteer experience.
Don’t undervalue the skills, experience and contacts you gain through volunteer work. Although unpaid, it is still a great way to develop skills, gain experience, and boost your career.
Employers want to hire people they like and whom they feel will be a good fit in their company. If you make good eye contact, smile naturally, listen well, and vary your voice tone, you will come across as authentic and trustworthy.
Find an advocate.
If you know someone who works at the company or who is a key supplier or customer, ask them to put in a good word for you. All things being equal, employers prefer to hire someone with whom they have a connection, even if it’s an extended one.