Stand Out When You’re Missing a Job Requirement

 You find an amazing job opportunity that would be a perfect fit for your skills.  You have all of the requirements for the position…except for one.  So what do you do?  Some job seekers give up way too quickly.  Remember, job advertisements aren’t written in stone and many managers are willing to overlook a few of the minor requirements if it means finding someone who is truly the right fit for the organization.  Here are some tips that will help you overcome this barrier and show the employer that you are the best fit for the job:
Focus on Your Strengths.  What makes you a great fit for this job?  Identify your skills and experience that relate to the position and highlight them.  The employer may be so impressed with your strengths that they don’t even notice that you’re missing one or two points. 

Be Ready to Address the Missing Requirement.  If you get an interview, you need to be ready to discuss your missing requirements and explain how you plan to overcome this challenge.  Will you take a course to attain the required skills?  If you can successfully put the employer’s mind at ease, you will significantly increase your likelihood of getting the job.

Identify Your Transferable Skills.  Even if you are missing a requirement or two, you probably have experience that is easily transferable to your target position.  You are the expert on your background, so it’s up to you to figure out how your skills and experience make you the perfect fit for the job and articulate it to the employer.

Don’t Worry About Preferred Experience.  Employers have a bad habit of including requirements in job advertisements that aren’t actually necessary for the job.  For example, if a manager was looking for a receptionist, they may put “ability to speak a second language” as a preferred requirement just because it would be nice to have.  While a bilingual receptionist might be their ideal, they may still be willing to consider your application if you possess the other qualifications for the job.

If you want to impress the employer, you need to exude confidence.  You can’t ask someone to believe in you if you don’t even believe in yourself.  Don’t focus too much on what you are lacking.  Walk in knowing that you are amazing and that they would be lucky to have you on their team and they will respond to that energy.

(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: Artur 84/

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