Have you ever saw a job ad and told yourself ‘I could do that’, but then you looked at the job description and found that you do not qualify? What do you do? Most people dismiss the job and do not even bother sending an application. Here is how (and why) you should apply for a job you are not qualified for.
Why you should apply
You might be the best candidate
You might not be a 100% fit for the role, but you may still be the best of all the candidates. You might not know this, but most hiring managers are looking for people who would be the best answer to their problems. You do not need to be perfect; you just need to be the best option.
Nobody ever gets their ideal candidate
Job descriptions often describe what the ideal candidate will bring to the table. However, the ideal candidate rarely exists and (even if they do exist) they rarely apply for the job. This means that the job may go to less-than-ideal candidate. One thing you should keep in mind though is your competency to do the job. DO NOT apply if you know you would not able to the job at all.
Hiring managers do not know what they want
The hiring manager does not always have a clear idea of what their team really needs. This why it is important for you to offer them a solution rather than give them the solution they think they want.
How to apply for a job you are not qualified for
Consider what you bring to the table
You may not have the exact skills that they mention but you have other skills that are just as good (or better) than what they are looking for; these skills are able to put you on an equal footing. Find ways to highlight these skills and experiences in your resume or cover letter.
Show them your greatness
Instead of telling them how great you are, you should show them. Every role has its challenges; identify these challenges and tell them exactly how you would tackle these challenges. This does not only show off your skills, it also shows how serious you are about the role.
We all know what a powerful tool networking is. If you have a contact at the organization you are applying, they can introduce you.
State that you are an enthusiastic and quick learner
Let them know that you are a quick and willing learner. Make sure that you demonstrate your past ability to learn quickly by using solid examples.