Think You Might Be Underqualified? Prove You Are NOT and Get The Job!
Sometimes you come across an advertisement for a position that seems like it would suit you perfectly. As you review it, you know that you have some skills that could be useful, but, you also realize that you may not be completely qualified for the position. Maybe it asks for some experience that you do not have, or at least not in the quantity asked for or in the specific areas mentioned. In any case, it is important to remember that most jobs ads set out to the describe the “ideal” candidate; employers are aware that it is very unlikely that they will get an applicant who matches every one of their criteria perfectly. That said, if you are severely lacking in a desired area or two, it might take a little extra work to convince such employers that you are what they are looking for—but it is by no means impossible to do so. In this post, we will look at some ways that you can prove that you are in fact qualified for the job.
1. Highlight the things on your resume that do match the job description.
The fact of the matter is that you want to make it readily apparent that you are generally fit to do the job. With this in mind, highlight some of your basic skills and experiences from your resume that most closely match with what the job calls for. Identifying and emphasizing these “matches” will make it a little easier to highlight the things that you cannot adequately provide.
2. Emphasize skills you do have and how those might adequately work as a substitute.
You want to be direct about what you can do, but, you also want to convince the hiring manager that your ability to do the job will not be deterred because you have a solid back-up plan and readily transferrable skills. Whenever possible, give concrete examples of how your unique skillset will be beneficial to getting the job done. Part of being a good employee is being a good problem solver, and if you can offer solutions to potential issues from the start, things might just work in your favor.
3. Use your network. Seek out their insights.
It is always useful to hear about other people’s experiences and how those experiences might shape your approach to your own job search or career goals. If possible, try to get in contact with someone working at the company at which you are interested in working, preferably a person who specializes in the area that you wish to pursue. Ask this person any questions you may have about work expectations, the application process, and what you can expect from the job. This is also a good way to connect with someone who can refer you into the company and vouch for your skills. If you can manage this, you have a much better chance of having your resume reviewed.
4. Do your own research.
While the company’s website is a good place to start, you might want to look beyond it to better understand what might be expected of you and what you should strive to emphasize in your cover letter. If you do your research and attempt to better understand the company’s mission and approach to certain issues, you can more accurately focus your resume and cover letter to reflect your careful research.
5. Make your cover letter work for you!
The cover letter has never been more crucial than it is here! Make sure that you use your letter to clearly illustrate how your skills are transferrable to the job at hand. Offer innovative ways that you can contribute to the company with such skills that might not have been obvious. In sum, show creativity and enthusiasm. It can go a long way in showing employers how serious you are.
6. Highlight relevant experiences.
These experiences can be anything so long as you can readily show their relevance and how you can apply what you learned through them to the job. Consider any volunteer work you might have done, personal projects you might have taken on, part-time jobs. Create a narrative for yourself and show how you fit into the position, given your unique set of experiences.
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Do your interview skills pass the test? Do you need some assistance in improving your interview persona as you seek a new position? If so, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services. If you are interested in learning more about finance and accounting industry opportunities, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group. Or, if you are interested in attorney or other roles in the legal industry, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Legal Group.