Want to apply for a new role but don’t meet all the requirements? You still can. Here’s how.

You’ve just come across an amazing job and starting to feel those first flutters of excitement. But as you read the role description, they quickly turn to disappointment as you realise you don’t possess all the skills and experience listed in the job requirements. So you put that job into your ‘won’t apply’ list and move on. But should you?

Here, we explore the reasons why it’s not necessary for you to meet all the specified job criteria to apply. We’ll also provide you with some top tips to help you tailor your cover letter and CV to account for any gaps.

Why Apply When You Don’t Meet All The Job Requirements?

We’re going to let you in on a little recruitment secret – hiring managers don’t expect candidates to meet all the job requirements contained in the job description. It’s rare to find an applicant with an exact match, so they’re open to considering those who are closely aligned, as well as hiring for potential.

Another reason to apply is for professional growth. Limiting yourself to positions that are a replica of your current or previous roles robs you of the chance of learning new skills and ultimately progress your career.

When considering whether to apply for a position, take the time to carefully review the job description and each job requirement. Can you determine what the essentials and the desirables are (if you’re not sure, a professional recruitercan help)?

If you find yourself sorely lacking in the essentials area, then it may not be a wise decision to apply. But if the skills or competencies you lack aren’t fundamental key requirements, consider applying anyway – especially if you feel you have transferable skills or experience that will enable you to successfully perform the role. An ability to show willingness to learn on the job and grow is also important, as many hiring managers find this highly appealing.

If you’re now convinced to try for that role you thought was out of your reach, here are some tips for submitting a successful job application.

1. Concentrate On Those Keywords

Many recruiters use ATS (Applicant Tracking Software) to automatically scan job applications for keywords that determine how well you match the job description. To increase the chances of your application reaching human hands, ensure you use the right keywords to demonstrate you’re aligned with the position. This can be a bit of a tricky task, so feel free to reach out to us for support.

Try to use language that mimics the job description, concentrating on the key skills you possess that they need. For instance, if the position calls for a strong communicator, be sure to use that phrase in your CV and check that your qualifications or certifications are included and up to date because they might be considered mandatory.

In a similar vein, use a hefty dose of ‘action’ words throughout to highlight your achievements. For instance, for management experience, use words like motivated, guided or fostered. When describing improvements you made, opt for transformed, upgraded or strengthened.

2. Highlight Your Transferable Skills and Accomplishments

If you don’t have the exact skillset listed in the job description, showcase any transferable skills, experience and training that’s relevant and demonstrates you’re a great match. For instance, if the job requires management of a large team and you’ve not done that, speak about a smaller team you might have led, or times when you took over temporarily for your manager on leave.

You might also have skills or experience that aren’t specifically listed in the job description, but have real benefits for the role. It could be with a different software system or in a different but somewhat parallel industry. Be sure to highlight this as well.

Of course, it almost goes without saying that you should devote a good portion of your CV to sharing accomplishments that directly align with the job’s core requirements. Be as specific as possible, using data or examples to back this up.

3. Show Your Enthusiasm

Many managers we’ve spoken to say enthusiasm almost always trumps experience. If you can show you have a genuine passion for the role and are excited about the business as a whole, this could place you one crucial step ahead of your fellow candidates.

Your cover letter is the place to let your exuberance shine. Highlight your qualifications and provide an example or two of how they align with the role. Convey your excitement about the position and the company. If you’re doing further study or enjoy keeping up with industry news (a favourite podcast perhaps?), mention this too.

You could also reference one area in which you don’t have the requisite skills, but compensate by saying you’re keen to learn quickly on the job. This demonstrates a key personal quality of a willingness to acquire knowledge and grow, which is highly attractive to a potential employer.

Another idea is to frame your cover letter as a pain letter. This involves delving deeper into why the position requires filling, essentially addressing the company’s most pressing need or pain point. You can then frame your letter around this, explaining how you believe you can help. It not only demonstrates your potential, but smartly shows you’ve done your research about the role and their business.

4. Tap Into An Expert Network

When you don’t hold all the required skills for a job, information is power. The more you know about the role and what the company considers essential, the easier it is to tailor a successful job application. This is when partnering with a professional recruitment agency is so beneficial.

As the experts in temp and permanent recruitment in Australia and New Zealand, we have years of experience helping candidates curate their CVs to land a position they covet. We also have an extensive network of clients in wide ranging fields, from the professional sector to industrial services, so we might just have an opportunity you don’t know about, but would love to! Please connect with us for a chat.

Author – Employment Group