The jobs market is a tough place to have to find your way around, the more job descriptions you read the more you realize that there will always be something that an employer needs that you don’t happen to have. It could be that a qualification needs to be of a certain level, or you need experience in a certain area or something else that you feel eliminates you from applying for the role. After a while you start to think that perhaps you don’t really have any employ-ability worth at all as all that you are faced with is a big ‘not eligible to apply’ stamp on your forehead. What you need to realize is that job descriptions are very carefully worded to root out the less confident job seekers and put them off applying, leaving only the very hardy, or over qualified people behind to apply.
So what if you don’t have exactly the same qualifications that they are listing on their requirements form? Do you believe that you can do the job? If you do then go ahead and apply for it anyway, making sure to use the dialogue boxes on the application form to outline why you are the perfect choice for the role, even without a diploma in data management or whatever it is they are asking for. Experience goes a long way in landing a job as it means that you will require less intensive training and will also have a very good idea of what is expected of you. The fact that you are applying despite falling short of what they say they require shows that you have confidence, both in yourself and your abilities. It shows initiative and a desire to succeed which means that you will be a pro-active member of their staff. Remember to be enthusiastic in your answers to their questions, and answer everything as fully and clearly as you can. Leave them wanting to know more about you and what you can bring to their business.
Within a week of submitting your application, or after the closing date for applications, follow it up. Give them a ring and ask if they have processed your application, ask if they have shortlisted candidates yet. Show them that this application wasn’t just one of a dozen that you sent off that week and really couldn’t care if you heard back from or not. If it turns out that you are not what they were looking for in this instance ask for your details to be held on file for any future vacancies that arise. See if you can find out why your application was unsuccessful. It could be that your CV needs some work, or your answers on the application form were not very clear. Some things can be rectified so make sure your applications to employers in the future are as perfect as they can be. Remember, never sell yourself short. If you think you have what it takes, send in your application.
Mark Adamson is a published author and is frequently cited in national newspapers about personal development – he regularly visits Souters Training for more information on helping his clients improve their job prospects.