4 Tips When Applying for a Job When You’re Underqualified

UnderqualifiedAnytime you’re looking at a job ad, there are a number of requirements that an employer is looking for. You’ve finally found a job that looks and feels perfect... but you find that you don’t meet all of the job requirements. What do you do?

Falling short of the job requirements doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t get the job; you just need to put more effort into proving yourself. How do you do that? Here are some ideas:

Don’t lose hope – The first thing you need to remember when you’re applying for a job for which you’re underqualified is that oftentimes the requirements stated are only what is ideal for the employer, not the baseline criteria. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet all of the requirements.

Focus on your skills – Every job and company is different, and each employer has a set of skills they’re looking for and deem more important. You have to identify which skills are most important for the company. In your application, be sure to show that the skill or requirement that you lack will not get in the way of your effectiveness in doing the job.

Dig and recall – You may have not an extensive professional career yet, but perhaps you have devoted time to nonprofit organizations, volunteer work, internships or other similar opportunities. Look back at everything, including any unpaid work that you did. While not necessarily done in a business setting, these are still valuable experiences if they pertain to the job you’re applying for.

Look at other options – If all else fails, you might need to look at other options in order for you to gain more skills and experiences that can help you beef up resume and get that job.

Job requirements exist to serve as a guideline. Employers certainly would be glad to find an employee who meets all of the requirements, but when there’s work that needs to be done, they often hire the next best thing available. So, don’t worry if you think your qualifications aren’t enough. Take a chance, use what you’ve got, and you might just land that job anyway.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.