Should You Apply for a Job You’re Not 100% Qualified For?

Have you ever come across the most perfect job only to realise you actually don’t meet the experience requirements? You’re not alone. Studies suggest that women typically won’t apply for a job unless they meet 100% of the qualifications. At Gibson Hollyhomes however, their team want to encourage women to apply for the jobs they love the most even though they don’t necessarily meet every requirement listed in the job description, and here’s why…

Not Every Requirement is a Requirement 

Hiring managers and candidates tend to approach job descriptions from different angles. By outlining a long list of skills and qualifications, hiring managers hedge their bets in the hopes that the candidates who apply will at least meet some of them. Candidates, however, see this list of requirements in terms of absolutes. Many won’t apply if they are missing any of the skills listed because they don’t want to waste anybody’s time.

It’s therefore very important to check job descriptions for negotiables. For example, if you’re looking at a copywriter job that requires an English Language degree, but you have a Creative Writing degree instead, it’s still worth applying! You can always mention in your cover letter that your course had a particular focus on spelling and grammar to mitigate any worries the hiring manager might have.

You Might be the Best Person for the Job

Even if you are slightly under‑qualified you might very well be the best candidate that applies for the job. Remember, employers are looking for more than just a set of numbers or letters on a CV so it’s important to focus on the quality of your application. Consider what else you can bring to the job. Ambition? Enthusiasm? Creativity? Show these skills off in your CV and cover letter, giving tangible examples of how you have used them in previous roles or personal projects. Remember, quality of experience can trump quantity. You might have learnt more about your industry in two years than another candidate has in four so make sure you’re showing off what you know. 

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Women are typically socialised to downplay their achievements for the sake of humility. Nobody wants to look like they’re bragging or appear to be a know-it-all, right? Well, in a competitive job market, it pays to be confident in your achievements. Avoid using words in your CV that downplay your contributions to a project like “assisted” or “supported”. Instead try more assertive language like “spearheaded” and “managed” in reference to your specific contributions. 

With the right CV, the right attitude, and enough confidence in your abilities, you can shine as a candidate even if you fall shy of one or two of the requirements listed in the job description. Don’t let a desire to follow the rules, too much humility, or the fear of failure jeopardise your chances at a job you would be perfect for. 

Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on money, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.