Know When To Apply For A Job You Aren’t Qualified For

Know When To Apply For A Job You Aren’t Qualified For

Most job descriptions explain the skills the employer wants from the applicant. If you think you can do 80% of the stuff required, go ahead and apply.

Photo by Matt Chan

The Muse suggests you shouldn’t consider yourself out of luck if you don’t meet all of a job’s qualifications. The 80/20 rule is the key here: If you have 80% of the minimum qualifications, go ahead and apply. The employer might be asking too much in the job application, so this gets your foot in the door.

If you’re close to that 80%, you need to explain how you’ll get to that 80% mark in your cover letter or first interview:

Look at the skills you don’t have. Of them, are they things you could pick up, through enrolling in classes or taking on some new experiences?

Then, look back at your career history to date. Can you think of three instances where you had to learn something new quickly? Or adapt to a new challenge — fast? Write down those examples. There’s some proof that you can use.

If you’re not even close to the minimum requirements, then you need to examine why you want the job in the first place. Check out the link for other tips for jobs that are close to your experience and skills, but not a perfect match.

Should You Apply for That Slightly-Out-of-Reach Job — or Not? [The Muse]


  • I agree with this, I’m a bit of a jack of all trades and have applied and obtained positions I wasn’t completely qualified for because employers found my other skills of use as well.
    So although I wasn’t 100% for the position I could do most of the role plus benefit the company in other areas saving money to them overall.

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