Since the job market is competitive, even for the best candidates, employers often look at factors other than qualifications when making a decision about whether to hire someone. Some employers ask about your personality, others ask about your communication skills. However, some of them still ask about your resume, even if your resume is not the best in the world.
Should You Still Apply When You Don’t Meet the Job Requirements? There are a few things that make you nervous before you apply for a new job: the interview process, the job itself, and the salary. You may find yourself thinking: “I don’t meet the job requirements.” But should you still apply? Of course, it depends on how you define what a job requirement is.
How do you know if you qualify for a job when you don’t meet the job requirements? If you’re a new grad and new grads are the bread and butter of recruiters, then it can be easy to make the assumption that applicants who don’t meet the job requirements must be less qualified than those who do. The problem is, this assumption is completely wrong. In most cases, it’s a good idea to still apply for a job even if you don’t meet the job requirements. If you’re truly interested in a position, you’ll do your best to make an impression regardless of what’s on the job description.
Should You Still Apply When You Don’t Meet the Job Requirements? Well, you need to understand this:
Ask Yourself if you can do it
In a job, you are asked to do many different things that may often contradict each other. For example, you are asked to be friendly and outgoing while you are asked to be focused and disciplined. How do you know if you can do the job? It’s a tough time to be working in a tough job. With new laws, new technologies, and new competition for the same roles, it’s hard to know if you have what it takes to keep your career moving.
You’ve just landed a new job, and your first thought is to tell yourself that you’re going to be great at it. You’re going to be one of the top employees because you’ve got the education, the experience, and the skills. You’ll give it your all, and you’ll do a stellar job. But then you receive that dreaded employee evaluation, and you’re left in shock. How did it go so wrong? It went wrong because you can’t force your way into a job you don’t fit into.
Use the Magic Words
While it might be tempting to think that the negative of not meeting a job requirement is that there is no job, this is just not true. The negative of not meeting a job requirement is that you don’t have the skills required. Don’t write the “I know I don’t have the right experience, but…” cover letter.
Transferable skills can make up for a lot of deficiencies in a resume. While employers can’t pretend to know things about you that they can’t measure, they can at least tell if you have experience in the specific field they’re hiring for. If you aren’t content with a job that doesn’t involve the skills you’ve learned over the years, apply for a job that does and look at the company’s website to see if it’s a good match. Also, ask a friend or colleague who knows the position they are hiring for to read over your application. They’ll often point out career-related issues that you may have overlooked.
The reality is that it is easier for an employer to hire a candidate who meets all of the requirements than for an applicant who does not. Although this is not an absolute rule, it is a well-documented fact that employers prefer candidates with a clean criminal background, are willing to relocate, and have the ability to adapt to working with a new team. Once these three basic requirements are met, the employer can focus on the other qualifications and skills, if any. It is no secret that the job market in the U.S. is tough. Job competition is fierce, and people are looking for opportunities that will stand out from the crowd. If you don’t meet the requirements of an opportunity but feel strongly that you still qualify, then there is still some hope for you.