“According to the Job Description, I’m Not Qualified. Should I Apply?” Here’s Your Answer.

August 26th, 2018

If you find a job you really want to apply to, but feel you don’t fulfill all the requirements, you probably should apply anyway.

Not applying means disqualifying yourself before you get a chance, and if you won’t advocate for yourself, who will? At the end of the day, you don’t know what a hiring manager has in mind. They could be looking for a candidate like you!

That being said, there are a few things you need to consider before throwing your hat in the ring for a job that may be out of your league.

Just how underqualified are you anyway?

First of all, don’t assume you have to fulfill all of the listed requirements. Job descriptions are partly written to weed out those who are totally unqualified. The requirements list also helps applicants form a sense of the position.

A great deal of people in their current jobs wouldn’t satisfy all the criteria listed in their job description, so take these postings with a grain of salt. If, conversely, the position would be a massive jump up, your time and energy is better spent on jobs that are a closer fit.

Some experts suggest sending in a speculative application to the business that acknowledges you’re a bit underqualified and explains your strong interest. Say you’d jump at the chance to join the company, possibly in a different capacity.

This tactic won’t always work, but given that up to 80 percent of jobs filled are not advertised, this strategy could be your ticket into an organization.

The application

Whenever you’re applying for a job that’s somewhat of a stretch, you must put in some extra work.

If the description includes a long list of qualifications you don’t have, think about what other things you offer that will help place you on equal ground. For instance, maybe you haven’t supervised people at work before, but you have overseen teams of volunteers at charity events.

Another approach is to show the hiring manager what you can do for the company. In addition to your cover letter, include a memo that describes what you think the main challenges of the job would be and how you’d deal with them. Or, create a slideshow with valuable ideas you’d bring to the role. These above-and-beyond efforts show off your abilities and your interest in the role; which frames you as a serious applicant.

Also, don’t ignore the power of networking. Find out if you have a connection who can introduce you to someone at the company. If that’s not a possibility, you can try a cold approach. For example, see if the hiring manager will be attending an upcoming industry event; then attend and introduce yourself.

Find a supply chain job today!

At ZDA, we regularly help people gauge their level of qualification for various job opportunities. If you’re currently looking for job search assistance, contact our supply chain recruiters today.

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