B y Michelle Wanjiku
How many times have you seen a job title and gotten excited about the position only to look at the requirements and have that excitement lowered?
As a job seeker, you have probably come across countless jobs that you chose not to apply for because you did not meet every single requirement. But, do you need to fulfill every single requirement listed?
The short answer is no, you don’t have to match the job description 100% you can apply for a job when you don’t have all the requirements.
How do you ensure that you still get interviews when you don’t meet all the qualification requirements?
Here are tips on how to get an interview when you don’t meet all the requirements
1. Focus on your transferable skills
The requirements listed for every advertised job are guidelines and not necessarily hard rules. As an applicant, you don’t need to tick every single requirement. if you possess the necessary skills and have the right experience, then it is okay to apply for the job.
For example, if you see a position that is looking for someone who has worked in the manufacturing industry and you haven’t but you can do the job, then go ahead and apply.
To do this successfully your CV needs to clearly show how the skills you possess make you a good fit for the job.
However, keep in mind that every company is different and there are some positions where employers can be very strict when it comes to the qualifications.
Just ensure you meet majority of the requirements for any job you apply for.
2. Find a direct connection with the company
I’m not talking about knowing someone who can help you get a job in a certain company, but having a large network of people who would be willing to recommend you for a position.
Networking is a great way to enhance your career opportunities. Having a connection in the company can ensure that your application gets looked at and that you are given a chance to prove you are the right fit for the job.
Keep in mind that your network is not supposed to get you the job, they are meant to give you a chance to prove yourself to the employer.
The truth of the matter is most people get jobs through recommendations, whether someone sent you a link to a job vacancy or forwarded your CV to an organization.
3. Use your cover letter to make your value add clear
When applying for a job that you don’t meet all the requirements, you must focus on the value you will add to the position and company. This can be done through your cover letter or introduction email.
Remember, the job description is just the employer’s wish list in terms of what sort of professional they are looking for; it is not a check-list. This makes it flexible and that is why you will find that sometimes an employer can hire someone didn’t meet all the requirements instead of someone who did.
It’s all about what you bring to the table. if you can show that you will bring value to the company , your chances of getting an interview increase.
4. Demonstrate flexibility and willingness to learn
There is a reason why willingness to learn has become a cliché. This is because most employers want to hire someone willing and ready to improve themselves because it means they will be able to continuously do a better job.
This is because when you learn new skills you become better at your job; whereas someone who believes they already know everything can never improve which means their performance will stay the same or lower with time.
Your application should clearly show that you are willing to learn and grow to meet the requirements listed that you do not currently possess.
5. Show your enthusiasm
Given the choice, who would you hire? Jane who ticks as the most qualified applicant but sent you a very general application that showed no real enthusiasm for the position and your company or Susan who is not as qualified as Jane, but her application showed that she truly understands the role and your organization and is excited about the prospect of working for you?
As an employer, Susan will be more beneficial to your organization as opposed to Jane because she is more likely to give her best in the position.
Enthusiasm cannot be acquired but skills can be learned. So when you see a job you don’t necessarily qualify for but are truly passionate about and believe you can do the job, apply.
Instead of just applying for every job you see or feel you want, take a realistic approach. For instance, it would be unwise of you to apply for a job that wants someone with 5 years’ experience yet you have no experience.
Before you apply for any job, ensure you meet at least 70-80% of the requirements, this will ensure that you don’t waste any time and resources applying for jobs you cannot get.
Want to improve your interviewing skills, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book a one on one mock interview session.