Have you ever been looking for a job and come across a job opening that seems to meet all your expectations? You know – one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that seems to offer everything you’ve ever wanted in a job: the right hours, fantastic pay, great benefits, and more. The only problem was that you lacked the basic qualifications the company was seeking from its candidates. Did you apply for that position or did you do what most people do when confronted with that dilemma and simply move on to the next posting?
The better question might be this: should you apply for a position when you know you’re not qualified for the job? As it turns out, the answer to that question can depend upon a variety of factors. We’re here to offer some simple rules to help you determine whether it’s worth your time to apply for that type of position, and suggestions about how to ensure that your resume can still pack the right amount of punch even when your qualifications may not be exactly what the prospective employer desires.
You really have nothing to loose – except some time. You should still apply to positions where you have most of the major qualifications.
Use your best judgement when deciding whether or not to apply for a position.
If a position requires five years of experience and you only have three – you should still apply.
If a position requires a masters degree and you only have a bachelors – it’s usually a waste of time.
The most important thing is to evaluate the situation to see whether it makes sense to apply. While it might seem as though you should never bother to pursue a job when your qualifications are lacking, the truth is that the decision may not be quite that obvious.
Naturally, none of this will matter if your resume is weak or ill-conceived. Take the time to tailor it to the job you’re seeking, and focus on highlighting every area of experience and competence that is applicable to the job in question. You need the hiring manager to read that resume and cover letter and be intrigued enough to schedule that all-important interview.
If you just can’t manage to shape your resume to make you sound even marginally qualified, chances are that there’s no way that you’ll ever get the job anyway. If that’s the case, then you will be better served by moving on to the next job opportunity, rather than expending more time and effort in pursuit of an unattainable goal. In the end, the decision to apply or not apply for a position that you’re not qualified for is one that you’ll have to carefully consider.