The hunt for a great job in today’s job market is about as competitive as The Hunger Games. (For those of you who may not have read the books, it is basically kids killing kids in a series of “games” for survival.) So, I get why you would apply for any job out there that looks like it might be interesting to you or that you might be qualified for. Today’s post is a thought piece on why that is a bad idea and why that doesn’t work.
I have been hiring employees for a long time now. Over the course of my career, I have staffed my teams over 5 times and hired over 10 team members. There is nothing more annoying than posting a job and getting tons of resumes from unqualified candidates. Requirement by definition means “that which is required: a thing demanded or obligatory.” So, therefore, it is a must-have. You must possess certain skills and attributes and level of experience to get the job. If you do not meet the requirements, DO NOT APPLY. It really is that simple.
Now, if you meet almost all of the requirements (and I am talking 9.5 out of 10) but maybe lack 1 year in experience or have all but one of the skills, I do think it is okay to submit your resume and identify that you are aware your resume is not 100% what they want on paper, but then explain why in person you can make up for those things and how you can make significant contributions otherwise. In other words, highlight the strengths to make up for what could be considered minor weaknesses.
So the moral of my story is that it is ok to put yourself out there and remain competitive. However, be realistic about your qualifications as well. Know that if you are just starting out, you have to start an as assistant or coordinator. Don’t apply for a job as a manager or director. I have seen it happen and it irks me beyond, but it also makes you look bad. And the whole point of this applying for jobs process is to make you look your best.