Should You Apply for a Job If You Don’t Meet the Requirements?

Should you apply for a job if you dont meet the requirementsReaders often ask me a variation of this question:

“I saw a position that’s pretty much my dream job. But I don’t meet all the requirements that were advertised. Should I apply for it anyway, on a stretch – or move on?”

It's a great question.

But instead of answering it myself, today, I’ll let “Sarah” – an Interview Success Formula student, answer the question with an email she sent a few weeks back.

Here it is:

Great news, Alan, I just accepted a position!

Your program was invaluable in helping me land the job - from resume tips, cover letter, and job searching and interview skills that I learned from ISF.

I now have my dream job that I am more excited about than anything I've done in years.

I didn't quite meet the requirements posted, but I applied as a "stretch" and won out. It is a slight career change, but for the better, in a new direction of my industry of which I was completely unaware.
WOW - cutting edge technology and innovation beyond belief. This invigorates me to actually look forward to work!

And the salary is well above my expectations.

Most importantly, I appreciate the subtleties that I gleaned from your communications, an attitudinal perspective regarding age, goals, and patience. Your story of expectant parents was apropos, as my job search was just over 9 months. The personalized worksheets on my strengths and behaviors brought about a self-awareness that will prove useful in many other aspects of my life.

I would strongly recommend ISF to anyone in the market for a job; it really works.

There is NO WAY I would have been hired had I not participated in the program.

Earnest thanks and warm regards,

A happy former ISF student


I say “Yes!” Definitely apply even though you don’t meet every requirement.

Here’s why:

Although hiring managers have specific requirements, when an amazing candidate falls out the sky into their office and delivers a knockout interview, they’ll often look past the "formalities" and hire the candidate anyway.

The reason is simple:

When a great hire comes their way, their search is over, and they’ll eagerly jump at the opportunity to hire you immediately. Not only that, but they’ll often pay you a higher salary than you were expecting – merely because they don’t want to lose you.

This is the power of a stellar first impression.

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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.