You’ve probably come across job openings that sound interesting, but you notice that you’re lacking some of the desired qualifications. Is it okay to apply anyway? . For many it is a lack of confidence that is holding them back. They begin to start doubting their abilities. Or they may share their future plans of applying for a role to a friend or family member and they are told to perhaps consider something that is 'achievable'. But fear not; we are here to tell you some sure fire reasons reasons why you really should take a chance on yourself and go for the role that you really want.
Of course, there are some exceptions, like when you have to be an attorney or know how to play the violin. Otherwise, it’s usually a matter of seeing if you can re-frame your background to address the employer’s needs.
In fact, many employment advertisements are more like wish lists than precise formulas, so there is substantial room for flexibility.
Take a look at three of the most common situations where you may be able to make the case for why you’re a candidate worth considering.
When You’re Changing Careers
Do you want to switch to a new industry or a different kind of position? Many adults have made a successful transition at various stages in their professional lives. A career change could help you discover a job you’ll love.
These strategies will help you make the switch:
1. Research The Field
Before making such a big move, do your research carefully. Clarify your reasons for the switch, so you can explain them to an employer as well as yourself. Look up data on starting salaries and employment prospects.
2. Interview Colleagues
Professionals already working in the field are an important source. Attend networking events where you can make new contacts. Join groups on LinkedIn and reach out to someone whose profile looks interesting.
3. Focus On Transferable Skills
Review your CV to see how you can apply what you’ve done to your new area of interest. Many tasks are similar even when the job title changes. There are so many skills that you have attained through not only your work history, but you could have also developed skills from volunteering, being a carer for a loved one or from being a stay at home mum. You'll be surprised how many skills you have gained along the way.
4. Ask For Referrals
Your current network is still an asset. See if there is someone you know who can introduce you to others who may be willing to share advice and job leads. Keep in mind that your network is your net worth so dedicate some time to tap into your contacts where possible.
When You Lack Experience
Maybe you’re brand new to the job market or have limited experience. You can still impress employers with your talents and accomplishments. Try these techniques for highlighting your talents and gaining some experience:
1. Volunteer Your Services
Build up your resume while you advance a worthy cause. Offer your assistance to a charity you already support or call your local volunteer centre to see what opportunities they have available for you to access or propose a project that will give you valuable experience.
2. Do An Internship
While internships are usually designed for students, there are also programs for adults. Contact companies where you would like to work and ask about formal or informal opportunities. There are many opportunities available and if you are financially able to pursue this path, it is definitely one you should consider.
3. Polish Your Cover Letter
Customising your cover letter is even more important when your CV needs support. Develop engaging stories that present your skills and abilities. Ask friends and family for feedback.
When You’re Missing Specific Skills
Soft skills can be just as important as your major or computer knowledge. With a few extra steps, you may be able to prove that you can do the job even if you’re unfamiliar with a program that could be outdated by next year anyway. It is always helpful to put forward the suggestion that you are open to undertake further training to further enhance your skills.
1. Study The Job Description
view the qualifications to see which requirements are essential and which are less significant. While an international company might like each employee to be multilingual, it may not be a significant part of the position you’re seeking. It's always great to review the desirable requirements of a CV and see if you meet them as this will ensure your application has the winning edge.
2. Pick Out Keywords
Automatic programs and human resources departments focus heavily on keywords these days. If a particular skill is stressed repeatedly, you may need to look elsewhere at other opportunities.
3. Continue Learning
On the other hand, you can keep strengthening your qualifications. Take advantage of training on the job or in your free time. There are so many courses online that you can undertake for free or for a small cost and many online learning platforms like Udemy and Alison provide an abundance of great courses that you can use to up skill and strengthen your CV.
If you’ve done your homework and concluded that you’re an excellent fit for the position, ask to be considered. Even if you’re missing a few items on the qualifications checklist, you’ll feel better knowing that you made an effort. Plus, you may even land your dream job. xx