Don't Have The Required Qualifications? Apply Anyway.
It’s easy to decide not to apply for a job because you don’t have all the qualifications or the specific experience listed, but I believe you should apply anyway.
Why? Because there’s no perfect candidate.
When companies create a job description, they know one person may not meet all the requirements. Companies want the perfect candidate, but they know that’s not always realistic. So when you see a job you want to apply for, apply! The worst that could happen is you won't get called in for an interview.
Once you decide to apply, here are a few tips on how to go after the job and stand out as a candidate.
1. Don't rely on the application alone.
The majority of jobs are secured through networking. After submitting your resume, find a similar connection to someone who works for the company. Go on LinkedIn and search for connections of connections of people that work for the company you want to pursue.
Send a cold email to the person you want to connect with letting them know you applied online but want to get your resume in the right hands. Keep emailing people in the company until you get a response. Companies love candidates that have grit and tenacity.
2. Revamp your cover letter to position yourself as a problem solver.
When you send in your resume, include a cover letter. Don't make it the boring, traditional kind of cover letter though. Make it a one-page problem-solving solution letter. In your cover letter identify what problems you can solve if hired for the position.
Do your research. Know the companies pain points and address each one. If the company needs help with targeted marketing, share exactly how you can identify and target their key demographic to market products and make an impact. Just remember to keep your letter to one page and 3-5 actionable points.
3. Learn the required skills.
If you see required skills for a position you want that you don't have, learn them. With platforms such as LinkedIn Learning and Coursera, there's no excuse not to learn. Under the education section of your resume include the courses you're taking to learn the required skills.
Chances are by the time you snag the interview, your course will be complete and you can share with them you took the course specifically for the job. Even if you don't get the job, you learned something new that will help you as you progress in your job search.
It’s scary to apply for a position you don’t look qualified for on paper, but you’re more qualified than you think and there’s more to a job than just hard skills. Use your cover letter to show the company how qualified you are and take advantage of your network. The most important thing is to apply because you never know what can happen!