Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Applying for positions for which you're not 100% qualified

I see jobs where I have some of the qualifications they’re seeking, but not all of them.  Should I still apply or am I wasting my time?

1 comment:

USDCareerBlog said...

Great question.

Many job postings include Preferred Experience and Skills and/or Required Experience and Skills. Whether you should apply typically depends on how close you are to meeting the preferred and required criteria.

Obviously, if the position requires a particular degree or license that you don’t possess (e.g., an MBA or Licensed Clinical Social Worker) – there’s no point in applying. The same applies if the position requires, for example, five years’ experience and you have less than a year’s experience.

However, you have more leeway when you don’t meet all the PREFERRED experience and skills. If you possess some or many of the preferred criteria – you’d be well advised to apply. In such a case you want to emphasize the background and skills that match the position.

Consider this from the recruiter’s perspective. Sure, they’d love candidates who possess ALL of the required and preferred skills and experiences. But, how likely are they to receive applications only from candidates who meet every criterion in their laundry list of preferences? Not too likely.

And here’s another consideration when applying to positions for which you only partially qualify… the person reviewing your application may be aware of a different position in the organizations for which you are better qualified.

So use your judgment, and go ahead and apply to some of those “reach” positions – as long as your qualifications are in the general ballpark.