As a job seeker, you may come upon a job posting that really interests you – but you don’t have the exact experience the hiring company is looking for.
You’re really interested in pursuing the opportunity – so what should you do?
First off, no one fits a job description perfectly, and there’s no such thing as the ideal candidate! If you only apply for jobs that are an exact match for your expertise today, how will you grow?
Remember that many companies hire for culture fit, not just for hard skills. And many “requirements” in a job listing are actually nice-to-haves. If you’re not applying to jobs because you don’t think you have the right work experience, you could be missing out on some great career opportunities. Here are four ideas to help you land that next job – even if you don’t have the exact background the employer is looking for:
Play Up your Talent and Connections
While previous experience is important, many companies look at a candidate’s overall talent level, versus experience. Your resume and LinkedIn site should reflect the skills you possess that transcend job role. In addition, connections and relationships will dictate where you get opportunities to interview. Be sure to leverage your network big time when job seeking.
Use Keywords and Strategic Language
For jobseekers, the person with the most keywords wins. So use job postings to weave keywords or keyword phrases into your resume and LinkedIn page that align with what the hiring organization is asking for. That will help enable your resume to be read by an actual person, while helping them see why you’re perfect for the job.
Match your Skills to the Job Description
It’s the job of an HR manager or hiring professional to decide which candidates have the skills to do the work. Therefore, it’s important to review your work experience on your resume and check off how many match the job description – including “soft skills.” These skills are important and include interpersonal skills, communication, listening skills, leadership, and empathy. The more check marks you have, the more likely you are to get an interview.
Create a Strong Cover Letter
If you meet at least some qualifications in the job description – and are confident that you’d be a good choice – say it clearly in your cover letter. Draw the hiring manager’s attention to your qualifications and highlight the unique strengths that make you worthy of consideration. How would you contribute in a positive way? How have you made a difference in other settings? Taking the time to personalize the cover letter can really pay off. Just remember to keep your letter short, error-free, and to-the-point.
If you’re interested in a position and can see yourself doing a great job, don’t let a few missing qualifications stop you from applying! Follow the steps above to help get your foot in the door. You could be the best person for the job and applying is the only way you’ll know.
Lanmark Staffing provides over 40 years of combined human resources, recruiting, temporary placement, sales and management, and temp-to-hire services. Our local team of experienced professionals are friendly, helpful and ready to help you find the job you’re looking for.