Not Meeting The Job Description

Have you ever come across a job advert, read the title, and become extremely excited? Only to realise that you don’t meet the requirements.


Job requirements often cause prospective candidates to be turned off , before they finish reading the list. Some job adverts have complicated a and extended list of nice to have’s. However, do you really need to meet every requirement on the list? The answer to that is No.


Recruiters and Career Coaches will advise you that whilst job descriptions are important, organisations accept that few candidates will meet 100% of the requirements. You should view these requirements as more of a wish list. However, the candidates who meet ‘most’ of what’s asked are more likely to be called in.


Typically if candidates meet at least 70% of the job description, and hold the experience and capabilities of doing the job, except for maybe one or two requirements, you should definitely apply.


It’s important to be realistic, when applying for opportunities. There’s no point applying for a role you’re unqualified to do, simply because you tick one or two boxes. Nevertheless, if you choose to do this, you have to understand that there will likely be a number of additional selection stages before you’re likely to receive any job offer. Be sure that you’re able to confidently and logically able to match your experience to the role.

Quite often, numerous job descriptions appear to be hacked jobs. They are simply a compiled list of what that organisation saw listed for comparative roles at other companies. Additionally, these job descriptions have a purpose and that is to thin the herd by getting rid of those that won’t apply, simply because they believe they aren’t qualified.


Applying for jobs is an art, one which most people unfortunately become quite good at doing, at one point or another throughout their career.


Pay close attention to all job listings within your range of expertise and if you meet 70%, go for it. From experience, we can tell you that very few candidates ever meet 100% of the Job Description.


Companies are always willing to compromise if the person is good.


According to Lean In, men are more likely to apply for jobs even if they do not meet most of the requirements. If they desire the job, they simply apply.


Women, on the other hand, tend to hesitate and wait to apply for a job that offers almost perfect alignment. The acceptable qualification ratio that most people tend to settle on is 66%. However, this should only be done if they can reach out and create a network within the company, instead of utilising a traditional tracking system.

You should look at the requirements in a job description as guidelines, rather than set in stone rules.


You don’t need to meet every requirement or satisfy every qualification. If you have skills that are transferable and the required years of experience are close to yours, then apply.


When you apply you give yourself the chance to at least be considered. Let the company decide on the areas they’re willing to compromise in.

Career experts claim that it isn’t actually the most experienced or most qualified applicant who always gets the job.


Individuals who showed sincere enthusiasm for the company and its mission were also successful in securing the opportunity, providing they met the minimum criteria. Certain skills can be gained, however, either you are enthusiastic or you are not.


If you truly believe that a role is for you, the company is one that you are excited about, and you have the skills and experience for the positions listed, you should always apply; there is nothing to lose.

One thing to bear in mind is that the hiring committee or managers aren’t always completely sure of what they want.


The job description is more akin to casting a wide net. The description contains things they hope to attract the most qualified applicants. This doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple of core requirements, however, the description is an educated guess on what they feel the type of individual who fits the bill will look like.


Take the time to thoroughly research what the company’s culture is, and the role offered to see if your passion and experience make you a great match.

What tends to hold ambitious, smart job applicants back from applying is sometimes not a lack of confidence, but rather an incorrect assumption concerning the hiring process.


As stated earlier, job descriptions should be treated more like wish lists rather than concrete requirements. As a job seeker, it is best to be bold, especially if you can meet 70% of the requirements. Do not be afraid to apply.


If you are applying online, remember to ensure you clearly include keywords that relate to your experience. Usually you’ll find them in the job description as this is what the process will be aligned with.

Try to identify which keywords are associated with the role.


By identifying the keywords from the Job Description and tailoring your CV accordingly, you will be able to showcase your experience in a way which aligns with the functionality of the Applicant Tracking System.


Simply applying to various opportunities without tailoring your CV will reduce your chances drastically.

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