Why You Might Want to Apply for Jobs for Which You Don’t Meet 100% of the Requirements

By The Intersect Group

You see a job posting. It’s PERFECT. It’s possibly even your dream job. Even if it’s not, merely reading the description makes you salivate:

  • It’s with a great company
  • It looks like it pays well.
  • It’s doing something you do extremely well.

But then, it asks for 10 years’ experience, and you have just 7. Or it says that you’ll be using a particular technology at an expert level, and you know it only at an “I can certainly make my way around it but don’t ask me details about it” kind of way.

What do you do?

You apply for it, THAT’S what you do!

You’ve probably read that too many people are applying for jobs for which they’re absolutely not qualified. (As many as 75 percent of applicants are unqualified.) You’ve also heard that this just peeves hiring managers and recruiters: they say it wastes their time. It clogs up the system. Causes delays in interviewing candidates who are qualified.

But that isn’t you. You’re a little unqualified, not entirely unqualified.

Know this, however: most people are underqualified for the positions for which they’re hired. Here’s a little secret among HR pros and hiring managers: you don’t need to be completely qualified to be the best candidate.

Here’s another bit of a secret:

The person hired usually is the one who wants the job the most

Really. This is almost always the case.

Think about this. Let’s say you’re a hiring manager and you have two top candidates who are exactly alike in education, skills, and experience. One of them is really enthusiastic about the position’s potential, challenges, and projects.

The other? You can’t tell. They come across as nice. They’re friendly. They say they want the job. But their vibe is ho-hum.

Who would you hire?

If you’re smart, it’s the enthusiastic candidate because these folks tend to stick around longer than those who aren’t.  They’re more fun to work with (their team members will thank you), and they’re much more willing to do “what it takes” to be successful. (Which, by the way, means your department has a great chance of being more successful. Kudos to you from YOUR manager!)

Enthusiasm can carry you over the finish line, even if you’re not fully qualified

So if you have at least 70-80 percent of the stated job skills, education, experience, etc., apply.

And make sure you show enthusiasm for the position.

Use your cover letter to show enthusiasm

Your cover letter is the only way you can show enthusiasm during the first part of the application process.

And your first step in becoming enthusiastic and then showing it is by researching the company.

This will help you see how aspects of the company, the company’s/department’s goals, etc.  match your interests and skills:

“I was excited to see that you merged recently with XYZ Company and that you plan to hire more AP/AR professionals.

“I’ve worked in accounting for X years, and one of my joys is being part of newly-formed teams. The excitement of starting new projects and taking on new clients never becomes boring for me.”

Who wouldn’t want to hire such a person!

Your second step is to describe your experience, background, and qualifications with powerful verbs and data highlights. Just one example: “I’ve analyzed upwards of 300 corporate tax returns in my six-year finance career.”

Notice the “300” figure there. This quantifies your accomplishments. Be as specific as possible.

Conclude with passion and excitement.

“Numbers to me aren’t just numbers: they tell stories. They let companies know how healthy they are. Whether a merger is a good idea or not.

“In addition, I have a provable track record in my accounting accuracy: my manager would regularly comment to my team about it and even asked me if I wouldn’t mind checking their work for accuracy. I was happy to!

“I am confident my skills, as well as my enthusiasm for accounting as a career, make me a great candidate for this position.”

Finally, if you believe you are a great fit for the position, even if you’re not fully qualified, apply and let that enthusiasm shine brightly.

After all, you can’t win the job if you don’t apply. So apply!

Speaking of passion…

The Intersect Group LOVES to help finance and IT pros find terrific work. Take a look at just some of our opportunities and apply to any that catch your eye. You can also send us your resume so that we can contact you should an opening come up that might interest you.