3 Steps to Apply for a Job When You Don’t Meet the Requirements
While job hunting, you see a vacancy that looks like a good fit for you. You get interested and take a keener look. As you read through the list of requirements, you discover that you don’t meet some of them.
What do you do? Do you skip it and keep searching? Do you cross your fingers and apply hoping to at least be interviewed?
Many job seekers ignore a job opportunity simply because some requirements are beyond what they have. And as a result, they remain jobless for longer than necessary.
They stress themselves out trying to get more skills or further education when they could be working by now.
If you fall into this category, then it’s time you reconsidered those job opportunities you aren’t fully qualified for.
In case you are not aware, not all skills listed in a vacancy are usually always required. Some of them are just “bonus” requirements meant to attract the best applicant out there. You therefore do not need to overthink them.
To help you out of this situation, we have created this guide which you can use to get hired for a job which you are not qualified for.
There are three basic steps you should follow. These are mainly concerned with the strategic efforts you can put to make yourself more likable. Read on to find out how.
1. CAN YOU DO THE JOB?
There is only one valid question you should ask yourself when you come across a job opportunity. And that question is: “Can you do the job?”
The hiring manager and the organization at large are only interested in filling the position with someone who can do the job and do it right. Most of everything else you see written is just an attempt to narrow down on the applicants. This helps to weed out those who cannot do the job.
This is often achieved because in most cases, anyone who doesn’t apply, possibly can’t do the job. One thing that validates this statement is the amount of confidence a candidate has and expresses.
To understand this, consider that it takes a lot of confidence to apply for a job whose requirements you do not meet.
Here is some good news for you. You can get the job even without meeting all the requirements. If you can do the job described, then apply. And how do you know you can do the job?
Check the specified roles
Every job description will normally have a list of roles or responsibilities which the hired candidate will take on. These are what will tell you the kind of job that is to be done. Carefully go through this list and imagine yourself on the job.
Is this a job you can wake up every day to do? Can you deliver on the tasks the candidate is supposed to perform? Can you do other closely-related jobs that may be given or required for this position?
Engage your mind and try to find out what a typical day would look like working in the position. If you are confident that you are able to do all those things that are required, then apply.
What skills do you have?
This is where you compare the skills you have to those outlined in the job posting. Since they are not a perfect match, it is time for some necessary trimming. You will need to answer the below questions.
1. Are the required skills completely relevant to the tasks you determined in the above step you will be performing?
2. If the skills required are a must-have, do you have them or can they be substituted with one of your own? NB: In determining whether your skills can be used in place of those specified, you need to be honest. Do not decide to see the possibilities just because you want the job.
3. In case you do not have the required skills, can you learn them fast?
These three questions will help you soberly judge whether the job you are considering is worth applying for. Remember that at this point, you have already established that you don’t have all the qualifications listed. So what you are really doing is investigating your chances.
One important attribute that goes a long way in job interviews is confidence. Your confidence levels can reward you handsomely. It often happens that someone who is qualified for a job fails to get it as someone less qualified gets hired.
Confidence. This is especially so in certain positions that require leadership skills. An average person with good levels of confidence can land that job faster than a qualified candidate with low confidence.
2. GET CONNECTED
It always matters who you know. This is not to mean that getting a job only happens when you are a relative to someone in the organization. The idea here is that connections have a way of pushing you to the front. In this case, let’s look at two particular connections.
There are many networking sites but few can match the power of LinkedIn. In fact, before shortlisting is done and candidates called or emailed for the interview, many hiring managers do their homework. And they do it on LinkedIn.
On your part, this networking site should not just be for filling up the number of connections you have. You should be strategic about who you connect with. Since you also did your homework, you should have the company or specific employees as part of your network.
This paints a picture of interest in the company. You also come across as someone who would take care of the company’s business since you have connections with those in it.
Get an internal referral
This can be the single most powerful connection you need to land that job. A referral from within the organization means that someone knows and trusts you. If they can vouch for your credibility and expertise, then you are on your way to getting hired.
How do you get an internal referral?
You look for one.
This is easier than it may sound and it works best when there is ample time before the end of the application period. In your confidence, you can locate the company and approach one or several of their employees.
If you can get those higher in rank, the better. Be open and direct. Tell them you like the company, are aware of the vacancy advertized and would like to know more about the company. You may need to develop your conversation skills before taking this approach so you are able to maximize on it.
Since you have made it clear you want to learn, offer to buy them a drink over a small meeting at a convenient time. This should be tea or coffee, not alcohol. After building a rapport, towards the interview day (assuming you got shortlisted), request them to mention you to the hiring manager.
3. HIGHLIGHT YOUR TRANSFERABLE SKILLS
Something else you can do, is highlight the skills you have acquired over time. Be careful to highlight those which are relevant to the job. Also prepare to explain how those skills are important for the job.
These are more commonly referred to as transferable skills. Whether you gained them while growing up, in school or during your internship, those skills are very important.
Transferable skills rank quite highly with hiring managers because they set candidates apart. One candidate may meet all the requirements but exhibit a lack of communication skills. Another one may be equally qualified but prove to be lacking in leadership skills, yet the job requires those.
This is the reason why resumes usually feature a section for highlighting your skills and abilities. As you list down your transferable skills, emphasize on the ones which paint you as the perfect fit for the job.
Below are some of the common transferable skills that hiring managers look for. You do not need to have all these. Something else, these are not all that exist. The absence of a skill from this list does not mean that it is less important. At the end of the day, it will come down to you convincing them that you’re the candidate of choice.
Organizations have learned the importance of focusing on teamwork and not individual work. At the heart of this realization is the simple truth that two are better than one. And for it to qualify as a team, those “two” must be working together.
When an individual is given a task, the chances of completing it well may greatly vary. This is all because of the set of abilities he has. But when a team is formed and given a task, good results can be expected almost always.
Within the team, the task will be subdivided according to individual strengths and abilities.
This creates a powerful synergy as everyone specializes in the area they are best at. The result is a job well, or perfectly done. When the team is acknowledged for the job well done, the morale of the members goes up and they get encouraged to keep working together.
This brings a great benefit to the organization in various ways. Where there is good teamwork, employees are more satisfied. Their jobs turn out to be fun because of the frequent successes in projects. As a result, they become more loyal.
Also, everyone develops a sense of belonging as they identify themselves with the team.
For a very long time, management got all the attention as it was seen as the requirement for success in business. Recently though, leadership has come out as something quite distinct from management and taken its place in the success of businesses.
Although there are differences between leadership and management, there are some similarities too. Whether you are a manager or a leader, you need to focus on the skills which you have. This will depend on the job you are applying for.
If the job post seems to be keen on measurable results, then management skills are what the company will likely be keen on. If the company seems to prefer building relationships and empowering their staff, then leadership skills are more needed in that company.
Do not show yourself as having skills which you do not possess. Not only is this lying, but it will also come back to haunt you. You may get the job and start suffering chronic stress because you cannot handle it. So be wise and live by the truth.
Studies show that most employees are not engaged at work. Being engaged means they are not motivated or enthusiastic as the business owner is. If you have ever been in most workplaces, you will agree with these findings.
Although employees see it as dealing with boredom when they go online during working hours, for the employer, this is lost time. As a non-recoverable resource, time is very expensive and once lost, the company loses a lot.
To get an understanding of this loss, take the example of a manufacturing company. If twenty bags of fertilizer are produced every hour, what happens when someone is too bored to work? What if he therefore produces eighteen bags instead, due to time wasted checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?
If this person works for eight hours a day, he would have produced 160 bags. But at 18 bags an hour, he will produce 144 bags. Those are 16 bags less. If there was an order for 160 bags on that day yet the company cannot deliver, isn’t this a loss?
The alternative option would be for the employee to work overtime. This duration is usually paid at a higher rate than normal working hours. Isn’t this an unnecessary expense for the company?
If you can then motivate yourself and stay focused on the job to be done, you will definitely become a valuable employee. All you have to do is communicate this through your resume and mention it during the interview.
Discipline is worth learning despite whether it is for a job or not. For the job however, discipline will help you become productive at work. With discipline, challenges to do with time management will not be a problem for you.
While other employees may be having trouble scheduling meetings and deciding what is important versus what is not, you will have decided and acted accordingly. This will ensure you are ahead of your colleagues and you will prove more productive than them.
One benefit from this is the opportunity of getting a promotion. Since promotions normally go to the most deserving employee, it will not be a hard thing for you to get it. You can also mention that you are able to help other employees develop discipline. If you have done this in the past, point it out.
Communication has been touted as one of the most important skills needed for a successful career or business.
The reason is that everything is built around communication. From pitching to customers or investors, passing interviews to communicating your personal needs and those of the company, you are communicating. And with the different situations, skills are necessary in order to achieve your goal.
Communication that is clear and direct is beneficial to those listening. The faster you pass your message across, the faster you can have what you want.
As part of communication, listening is also an important skill to posses. Rarely will you be able to communicate well if you cannot listen well. Listening guarantees that you will understand the other person and their background.
This is important for creating a conducive working environment. Without good communication, there will be lots of conflicts as people feel that they are not being understood. Or their opinions are not being taken into account.
The ability to take raw data and come up with comprehensive reports is always a big plus. In this age of data-driven decisions, having analytical skills will make you valuable to any employer. And this is not a skill that is only usable in the high positions but also in intermediate or lower ones.
Being analytical in your approach to things will help in dealing with situations from a logical perspective and avoid rushing into action. As such, it is easier for you to understand a situation compared to someone who does not have analytical skills.
When you understand a situation, you are likely to come up with a better solution. If the job requires some form of research, then this skill will raise your chances of getting hired.
Problem solving skills
Problems exist all over and the most valuable people in the society are those who solve problems. Think about it for a minute, aren’t some of the biggest businesses solving problems?
Take Google for example. People had a need for information yet couldn’t all get to the public libraries. So what did Google do? It made information available. Sportswear companies like Nike and Adidas tapped into the need for comfortable clothes and shoes during sporting events and became successful.
Problem solving is closely related to analytics and critical thinking. Although these words may sound technical, if you have these skills, you know that there is nothing really technical about them. This is because for you, you utilize them without much effort while others may struggle.
And that is exactly why you are unique and best placed for the job.
In all these transferable skills and others you may have, the key is to communicate them well. You have to show their relevance to the job you are applying for. This way, you stand a chance of getting that job which you thought you couldn’t.
With these three steps, you can develop a winner’s mindset and apply for those jobs you were ignoring on the basis of meeting the requirements. Remember, if you can do the job and have relevant skills, APPLY.
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