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Should I apply for a job if I don't meet all the requirements?

2 minutes

Applying for a job can be an intimidating process, particularly when you come across job adv...

Applying for a job can be an intimidating process, particularly when you come across job adverts with what seems to be a laundry list of qualifications and experiences.

So it's no surprise that one of the most common questions candidates ask is whether to apply for a job if you don't meet all the requirements. While it is easy to feel discouraged by these lengthy lists, the reality is that you only need to meet some of the advert criteria to apply. In this blog, we look at why taking a leap of faith can benefit your career.

First things first, a note about gender...

A study by Hewlett-Packard found that men are more likely to apply for a job if they meet 60% of the qualifications, whereas women tend to apply if they meet 100% of the criteria. This difference highlights the importance of encouraging women to take more risks and apply even if they don't meet every requirement.

Job descriptions are wish lists

Most job descriptions are a blend of must-have and nice-to-have qualifications. Employers often list an ideal set of skills and experiences they hope to find in a candidate, but they rarely expect to find someone who ticks every box. The reality is that if you meet a significant portion of the requirements, you should consider applying. 

Potential over perfection

Employers are increasingly valuing potential over perfection. They are looking for candidates who are eager to learn, adapt, show promise, and buy into their company culture. Therefore, your enthusiasm, cultural fit, and overall potential can make a substantial impact during the hiring process. 

Transferable skills matter

In some instances, you might have little direct experience in every area listed on the job advert and description. Still, chances are you have transferable skills that are just as valuable. Skills like communication, problem-solving, leadership, and teamwork are highlighted and sought after and are applicable across various industries and roles. Highlighting these skills in your application can showcase your versatility and suitability. 

Gaps = opportunities

Employers know that no candidate is perfect. If there are gaps in your qualifications, skills and experiences, view them as opportunities to showcase your proactive approach. 

Different perspectives are valuable

Bringing a different perspective to a role can be incredibly valuable. If your background is slightly different, it might provide unique insights that a more traditionally qualified candidate might not offer. Employers often appreciate diverse experiences and viewpoints as these foster innovation and creativity within businesses. 

Next time you come across a job listing that excites you, but you don't meet every requirement, don't just dismiss it. Remember that job adverts and descriptions are idealised wish lists, and what employers are truly looking for are potential, transferable skills, passion, and the right attitude. Believe in yourself and take a chance! 

If you'd like support with your next career move, contact your local Meridian team today