Have you ever searched for a job and come up against so many requirements that leaves you thinking what you did wrong with your career? Don’t worry. You’re not the only one. So many of today’s job posting have numerous requirements, from years of experience to specific skill sets.
The big secret about job requirements is that most companies would consider hiring you even if you don’t tick off all of their boxes. Stop getting into the ‘should I apply for this job or not’ cycle that is common for job hunters and read this helpful list of ways to get the job, even when you are not qualified for it.
Employers get hundreds of applications for one job posting and are used to the run of the mill answers and CVs. If you don’t have the relevant skill set it is even more of a priority to stand out from the crowd.
There are many creative ways to stand out, which includes jazzing up your CV by making a slideshare presentation out of it. These days you are probably sending it via email anyway, so why not send out a more visual version of your CV. Some smart job applicants have taken to video advertising themselves, this gives a brilliant and creative first impression of you which your future employer will love.
If you have managed to catch the attention of the person reading through hundreds of application, it is very likely they will oversee the fact that you don’t match all of their criteria.
Have A Personality
When you are competing against hundreds of people with similar experience or more, you are going to have to bring the X – Factor into the interview. If you were lucky enough to get to that round, think about your actual presentation, both physical and personal, at the interview.
Most important thing to bring with you is your smile and personality. Your interviewer has probably sat through ten other people talking about the same things, and they are frankly tired. If you can find a way to connect with them during the interview, something not related to your work, you are already getting ahead.
You have to remember not to go overboard with pushing your personality, you don’t want to come across as strange. Try toning down on the jokes you make at the pub.
Make a Point to Introduce Yourself
If you have sifted through what feels like thousands of job positions and still cannot find what you’re looking for, it might be time to broaden your network. Getting your name out there is a sure fire way to make connections that could lead you to that person who knows another person who is hiring in your industry.
These days there are plenty of opportunities to network, especially in city meetups and events. Making the effort to meet someone new every day (whether it’s in person or online) will increase your chances of getting ahead in your field. You can also learn from these people and see where they picked up the necessary skills to bulk up their CV.
Keep a business card on you wherever you go, you never know when there will be an opportunity to introduce yourself to your next employer.
Show Off Your Accomplishments
OK, so you managed to stand out and get yourself that interview. Yet you still have 4 years less experience than most of the other candidates. Don’t worry, there is hope but it counts on you to be able to sell yourself.
Start with highlighting accomplishments that have a value on them. Don’t tell your employer what you did, tell them the results. Show them things they will be interested in, such as saving your company money, increasing revenue, developing successful projects. If you have these examples and are able to show concrete results, your future employer is likely to oversee your lack of years’ experience.
Don’t be too cocky, if you have only 3 years of experience and the company is looking for 10 years + then you are probably not qualified for the job, no matter how good a salesperson you are. Be modest, but highlight your achievements.
One of the best ways of getting hired even though you are not qualified for a job is through a referral. If someone is confident enough to refer you to their employer, you have already skipped a few of the interview hurdles.
When you are lacking in certain skills which leaves you in the discard pile, a referral from a friend, or even better an acquaintance that you have worked with, will move you into the potential pile. Internal referrals normally also have incentives for bringing good workers into their company, so you are also helping them with bonuses. To get a referral you need to make sure you are doing plenty of networking and connection making to ensure your chances of success are high.
Using social media can also help in some instances, but face to face is always better.
Everybody knows that in every interview you will be given the opportunity to ask questions of the employer. This is your chance to show off your analytical and discussion skills. The best way to start preparing for this is to research the company well.
Asking questions is not only to show interest in the company, but it’s also for you to figure out if you actually want to work there. It helps you find out what benefits you can receive and also what direction the company is going in and if that fits your requirements.
If you are brave enough you can turn the questions on the interviewer and ask them what they enjoy most about working there. If they struggle to give you a strong answer you should be weary and try elsewhere.
So you did your research and networking and you landed yourself your dream job interview. But the issue is you are still lacking in the skill or experience department. No problem! Coming to the interview super prepared will make up for anything you are missing on your CV.
By being prepared, I mean actually bring physical evidence that you have done your research for the job. Whether you have printed out a business analysis that you wrote, or a goals and action plan, these papers you can leave with your employer after the interview as a way to remember you. Not only that, you are showing great interest in the company, and dedication is all an employer wants.
It might feel stupid coming with a folder of pre prepared reports and files, but trust me, your future employer will be blown away.
It’s All In Your Head
You have to start your job hunting journey by believing that you can be hired for a job that is slightly outside of your experience level. Just remember that most requirements are an employer’s wish list and they often settle for someone that doesn’t match all of them.
Do mental preparations before going in for an interview so that you actually start believing in your abilities. If you are not confident in yourself this will be the first thing your potential employer will see and your application will go straight to the reject pile. To boost your confidence, start by writing your strengths and then elaborate on them.
Use strong words that will impress people and read it to yourself. Don’t be too egocentric as that is also not attractive. Try and find a middle ground.
Coming from a different background and applying to a job that may not sit within your comfort zone of qualifications is difficult. It is so easy to be drawn into a negative way of speaking about your own abilities and it is definitely something to avoid in the interview.
By adding a spin on the fact that you have less experience in one field but more in another can really help impress your potential employer. If you can make connections between the experiences you have and the job you want, present it in a positive way, your fresh eye perspective will definitely be noticed.
Never start a conversation with your potential employer with “I did this, but…” it shows that you are not proud of your achievements and not confident. Avoid this mistake.
Even if you don’t think you are qualified, and you don’t think you can impress an employer, you have to keep applying. Don’t stop at just one or two applications, some people go through hundreds before they are even invited for an interview.
Unfortunately, sometimes it is luck that will get you the interview of your dream. Maybe the HR person was having a good or bad day when they came across your CV. You can never know, but the important thing is to try. Try to look at it from this angle, it’s not up to you to decide if you have the requirements or not, as long as you do your best to highlight yourself.
Without applying you will never know, so what’s the big deal? Go out there and start job hunting!