Every job seeker has been here: You come across a job posting and you quickly realize it is your ultimate dream job. Your excitement rises. Then, you see it. The list of qualifications. Suddenly you realize you don’t match up 100% to their specifications. Do you slam your laptop shut in frustration and bemoan your circumstances? Or do you determine that even though it seems slightly out of your league, you’re going to toss your hat into the ring anyway?
Unless you just graduated last week and the job is a C-level position at a Fortune 100 Company, don’t give up. If you are just missing a few requirements, you aren’t out of the running. Take the time to apply, keeping in mind that you might have to do a little more legwork up front in order to pique the hiring manager’s interest.
Identify the requirements that are giving you pause. Let’s say they want someone with experience managing people, but you have never been a manager. Think outside the box. Maybe you manage volunteers with a charity or you are frequently assigned team leadership roles on projects at work.
Some skills you can begin to build immediately. If the job requires experience in a software program, start learning it the minute you click “send” on your application. Find the gaps, and then build a bridge.
Spend Time On Your Cover Letter
Your cover letter is the place to begin building your case for why you are the best candidate for the job. Remember to focus on the benefits you bring to the employer. You can use the space to showcase the requirements you do meet, and the areas in which you shine. Use the cover letter to point out that your strengths, like your willingness to learn new software programs or grow your skills, override any gaps in your experience.
Go A Step Beyond
You should, of course, send a polished and tailored resume and cover letter, but a unique way to let the hiring manager know you’re perfect for the job is to show what you can do. For example, you might create a short slide deck or video showcasing some ideas you’d bring to the table. This shows that you are serious about the role and you’ve put thought into your application. A little bit of initiative can go a long way.
Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway
Applying for a job that is slightly out of your league can be scary. But keep in mind that most hiring managers do not expect every candidate to match up 100%. They are looking for people who have the necessary skills to get the job done well, and who will add value to the team. People get hired for jobs every day that were a step beyond their reach on paper. If you don’t take the risk, you’ll never reap the reward. The worst that can happen is you don’t get the job, and in that case, you haven’t really lost anything but you will have gained valuable experience and perspective.
If you are searching for your ideal position but you haven’t quite found it yet, partner with an expert recruiter who will match you with opportunities to achieve your goals. The recruiting experts at CSS are ready to help you grow your career, so reach out to us today to learn more.