Should You Apply for a Job if You’re Missing a Required Skill?

Finding a job that’s a perfect fit is tough for someone seeking employment. Similarly, employers have a difficult time finding someone who perfectly fits their requirements. Most job listings put down the company’s criteria for the “ideal” candidate to fill the role: someone who has every conceivable skill the job might need, has used them all in the work environment, has previous experience in the role, and is willing to work for what the company is offering.

It’s often a tough checklist to fill, especially at more elitely skilled positions. So don’t be put off from going after a good job if your skill set is lacking slightly. The worst thing they can do is say no, and there are a few things you can do to help give you an edge when applying.

Play to your strengths

If you’re 90 percent qualified for a job, don’t dwell on the 10 percent that you’re missing. You might not tick every box, but you’re still a highly qualified candidate with relevant experience. If you live in a city like Jackson, there might only be a handful of available people with your capability and level of expertise, and a company would be foolish to outright ignore you for not being exactly what it specified.

  • Emphasize your relevant skills early, in both your cover letter and your resumé. In your summary section, make sure your applicable qualifications are conspicuously stated.
  • When discussing your employment history, mention your relevant skills and how you applied them in a professional environment.
  • In an interview situation, anticipate questions you may be asked, and have answers ready about how your existing skill set relates to the position.

Be open to improvement

Even if the skill you lack isn’t a deal breaker, it’s probably helpful in the position you want. It can be a bonus if you are familiar with the skill, even if you aren’t a master of it.

  • Research as much as you can about the relative skill before you go in for an interview. Demonstrating a basic acquaintance with how the skill helps with the job will impress an interviewer more than ignorance.
  • If you are actively seeking to acquire this skill, say so! Companies will often scan resumés and look for certain keywords, and demonstrating that you are continually working to improve yourself is a positive trait in the eyes of potential employers.

A big part of getting a job is adequately highlighting the full range of your skill set. We can help you sell yourself to interviewers and get that position you know you’re qualified for.Contact us today so we can have you impressing prospective employers as soon as possible.