Don’t meet all the job requirements? Don’t let it put you off applying

During your job search, no doubt you’ll come across at least one role which ticks all of the boxes. Perfect in every way and exactly what you’ve been searching for, this job could have been created especially for you.

And then you notice it – there’s some qualification, skill or experience in the job description that you just don’t have. But before you think all is lost and go back to the drawing board, let me fill you in on a little secret – job requirements are often negotiable and finding the best fit is far more important to an employer than someone that ticks all the boxes on the job description.

It’s fair to say that nine times out of ten, the person who’s written the job description has never actually worked in that role and a lot of the job requirements that have found their way onto it are more of a wish list rather than set in stone requirements.

Of course, you’ve got to be realistic of how far you can push things, for example no matter how much you want the web developers role if you don’t have any technical skills in this area its highly unlikely that you’ll get called up for an interview. But if you do have transferable skills then don’t be put off, you’ll just need to put in a little extra work into your CV to show how what you do have can be used in this role.

Work through the job description – what experience, qualifications and skills do you have?

Work through the job description and ask yourself honestly if you can do each element of the job. Try to picture in your mind what you’d be doing day to day and you’ll get a better sense of the skills you do have and where you might be lacking experience.

After you’ve worked through the job description in this way, you’ll have a more accurate sense of what you have to offer versus what skills you may be lacking. Although some skills might not be deal breakers, its best to continue to be realistic.

Once you’ve worked through this stage and decided to go ahead with your application, you’ll need to connect the dots between the experience and skills you already have to those the position is asking for.

Make the most of what you’ve got and try not to draw attention to your shortcomings by including statements such as ‘I know I don’t have…’ or ‘Although I lack experience…’ Instead try to convey in your cover letter the how your current skills transfer over to the position.

Play to your strengths in your CV to line up with the job description

When you look at your CV, play to its strengths in line with the job description and really highlight what you do have to offer. Explain how lessons learnt in previous roles apply to this new position and paint a picture in the mind of the employer that you’re confident that you can satisfy the demands of the job.

If you’re confident that you can do this job then a few missing qualifications or skills shouldn’t stop you from putting yourself forward.

For more help and advice on getting your CV up to scratch, check out our Writing a Killer CV article or sign up to our CV writing webinar. Or if you prefer just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you get noticed and find your dream job.