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Why you should apply for a job even if you are not 100% qualified?

I recently listened to a very good WSJ podcast about how landing a job can be different for men and women. I just got so frustrated because women are constantly underestimating themselves. They avoid applying for jobs because they are not 100% qualified. And I can speak for myself as well. I didn’t apply for many jobs that I should have. I didn’t apply to jobs even though I ticked 9 out of 10 boxes. We should stop thinking negatively about our skills and capabilities and start applying. 100 % job qualified is very rare. Here are the reasons why you should hit that apply button next time even though you can’t relate to all bullet points posted in a job ad:

You are qualified

You’ve probably been there: You find a company that you like, you like the job, and then you start reading, and you never apply. You see that you don’t have that one requirement. You are only focused on that one thing instead of focusing on your abilities and skills, and the amazing things you’ve achieved.

Many times, companies list all the requirements, but some requirements are a plus but not mandatory. Besides, what can you lose if you apply? Nothing! Only those 3 minutes that it took you to fill out the application. Yes, you are qualified and if you are open to new experiences and learning you can succeed. And this brings me to my next point.

You learn as you go

If you see that you don’t have skills in certain areas, you can always learn. Your education didn’t end with your bachelor’s or master’s degree. Udemy is full of amazing courses which you can take and finish over the weekend. That is how I learned Tableau. It took me two weeks and I was ready. One more skill to add to my resume.

SQL, Excel, Java, Python, Accounting – all of that you can learn online, or at least familiarize yourself with it. When you are invited to an interview, you can always mention: yes, I don’t know Python, but I took an online course and I’m learning about it.     

Woman sitting and thinking
Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash

The perfect candidate is something different

The person who gets the job, in the end, is the one who passed the interviews and who agrees with the company’s culture. You can tick all the jobs requirements (hard skills), but passing the interviews is a story for itself. That is where your soft skills come into play. And those soft skills are a bit subjective. You can read about the difference between hard skills and soft skills. It’s all about presenting yourself in the best possible way. You play your weaknesses as your strengths and you get the job.

I had an interview for a job where I was overqualified. The interview was scheduled to last for about 45 minutes. Instead, a hiring manager cut the interview abruptly after 15 minutes not even giving me a chance to ask questions at the end. I guess she just didn’t like me. A week later, I had an interview with another company for a position that I wasn’t 100% qualified for. And yes, the interview lasted 30 minutes more than scheduled.

That is why you should not pass on the next job opening. Press that apply button.

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