So maybe you don’t meet all of a job’s requirements … that’s OK. You still have a chance.
What happens when you find your ideal job, but you don’t quite meet all its requirements? Don’t immediately give up and move on. If you know what you’re doing, you still have a chance to land the gig — without “fudging” the truth.
TopResume’s career advice expert Amanda Augustine recently shared her tips on how to approach this situation with CNBC Make It. Here’s what she suggests:
1. Even if you’re not still in school, you can build new skills
If you’re applying to the same type of job over and over, but you’re noticing an obvious skill gap, then maybe it’s time to hit the books again. No, that doesn’t mean bury yourself in even more student debt.
There are plenty of online platforms that allow you to take affordable — and sometimes free — online courses and certification classes to gain those skills. See what Lynda (now known as LinkedIn Learning), Udemy, and Masterclass have to offer. Then, when the subject comes up in your interview, let the hiring manager know that while you’re not necessarily an expert, you have taken specific steps to learn more.
For example, if an employer is looking for someone well versed in all things Google Analytics, but you haven’t worked with it before, you can take some simple courses to learn more about the platform.
“If you do this, you are miles ahead and will impress an employer,” Augustine told CNBC.
2. Remember that unpaid experience counts
If you’re a recent grad or are looking for an entry-level job, you know how irritating that “Must have three to five years of experience!” line in the job description can be. How can you have experience if you’re entry level?
But guess what? You just might have the experience — even if it wasn’t paid. Take out a piece of paper and start thinking about your internships, volunteer experiences, club involvement, and even your class projects.
No, you might not have experience managing a large brand’s Pinterest board, but maybe you spent three months performing a case study on some of the top Pinterest fashion boards for one of your senior-level classes. Maybe you don’t have paid experience managing a small team, but you did lead a final class project where you pitched a marketing plan to a national company.
“It’s all about positioning,” Augustine said. “Your resume is a marketing document, and you want to position it for whatever you are going after. That means play up the things employers are looking for and play down the things they aren’t.”
3. Lean on your network and connections
Did you know you’re 10 times more likely to secure a job when you have a relationship with someone at that company? That means, in addition to leveraging your skills and experiences, you should also leverage your network. Stay in touch with your professors and internship managers. Use your alumni network, and reach out to family members and friends in your field.
Also, rather than asking for a job (trust us, you don’t want to do that), simply ask for advice or any recommendations they might have before you submit your application. They might be able to float your name by the hiring manager so your resume has a better chance of being seen.
“It’s OK to reach out to those people and ask for pearls of wisdom,” Augustine says. “They can maybe help you with bumping your application up at a company and they can help you with figuring out what you should emphasize.”
Want to read more of Augustine’s advice? You can read the full CNBC article here.
Is your resume highlighting the experience you do have? Make sure with a free resume review today!