How To Get A Job That’s Out Of Your League

How To Get A Job That’s Out Of Your League

We’ve looked at applying for a job when you have no relevant experience, but what about when your experience is relevant but the job is just way out of your league? Here are a few strategies to help.

Photo by Alan Cleaver

A recent question asked on StackExchange yielded some pretty interesting answers. For the most part, they came down to two main approaches:

  • Do something impressive to get noticed, such as create a really neat project online (or wherever it’s relevant) or write contribute an article to a popular online blog/publication (wink, wink)
  • Introduce yourself in person and online

User blueberryfields suggested the following:

Find a chain of connections between you and someone that works at the company (via facebook, or linkedin), through someone who knows you well enough to recommend you, and ask to be recommended.

Start a twitter conversation with someone at the company.

Go to a public, social, event that’s attended by people from the company, and introduce yourself.

Find out who is responsible for hiring and give them your resume in person.

I’d add that if you can’t give a hiring manager your resume in person, do the next best thing: befriend their assistant, or any assistant at the company, or anyone at the company who can help you get your foot in the door. Many companies have referral incentives for their employees, and some employees will be willing to help regardless — if you’re good. At a previous job I had recently become friends with a woman in my apartment building who was a talented programmer but didn’t have a ton of experience on paper. I could tell she was great so I recommended her to the company and fought for her, even though the company didn’t think she was qualified enough. They hired her anyway, on my recommendation, and it worked out very well. I wasn’t anyone’s assistant or even on the development team. The point is, if you can convince someone to believe in you they can be a great asset in helping you get a job.

Got any other great advice for getting a job that’s out of your league? Share it in the comments.

How do you apply to a company way out of your league? [StackExchange]


  • I don’t know if I can agree with this.
    If the job is out of your league, then you’re probably not qualified to work there… What happens if you do get hired, but then are asked to do a task you just simply can’t do?

  • The real question should be: how do I get past the idiots in HR who reject my resume when I’m completely qualified for the job, but just didn’t have enough key words for their word-search…?

    • Work out what the keywords are, use a recruiter who can sell your resume inspite of the keywords, or find a way to speak to someone behind the HR curtain who actually knows what they’re talking about.

  • @Mr Biggles: You should be tailoring your resume and cover letter to fit the job ad/description. If the ad is vague (and yes it does happen!) then you should call in advanced to clarify before submitting anything.

    It’s not about YOU knowing that you can do the job, it’s THEM who needs to know so you need to highlight key aspects of your experience which demonstrates that you have the ability. In almost any role you’ll get all sorts of applicants (relevant or not), keywords certainly help to filter out the junk.

    P.S: I don’t work in HR but I’ve worked closely with quite a number of HR personel/recruiters.

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