What to do if you’re not qualified for a job
Job seekers, Imagine this scenario:
You’re on the web and you come across your “dream job.” The job is just perfect for you but there’s just one important thing missing…
If you’ve ever been in that situation, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard one of two things after you applied for the job:
“Thank you for your application, however we have decided to go with someone more qualified at this time.”
or… “…silence… no response…”
The match for job seeker and employer is no different than any other relationship. The employer is looking for the “best fit” and if you don’t have the qualifications, it is not in your best interest to apply for the job and here’s why:
It makes you look bad. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come across resumes for candidates who have expressed interest in a position but did not have the desired qualifications. No matter if you are an employed job seeker or an unemployed job seeker, job search is not a charity, it is a serious business decision. So, if you are not qualified then you have to understand that it’s nothing personal against you but you just do not meet the minimum expectations and HR may question why – after reading the job description – did you even seriously consider applying for the job.
You get really paranoid. Nothing invokes paranoia more than waiting on something you’re not qualified for. Why? Because on one hand you know you’re not qualified and on the other hand you are hoping feverishly that the employer thinks you are. That’s a recipe for disaster and high blood pressure. Increase your odds of actually establishing a connection by applying for jobs that you are qualified for and you may notice more call backs from employers who are looking for your skill set and background.
The odds are against you. Your unqualified resume in a pile of highly qualified resumes is just a small fish and a large pond of really large fish. We have this backwards psychology that goes into effect when we see a job that we’re not qualified for. It says “no one else is qualified for this either” or “this is perfect for me and no one else!” Unfortunately, those two things aren’t true and in fact the truth is the exact opposite. I can tell you from experience that recruiters who post jobs online have to go through a ton of resumes. Some good and mostly bad. If you want to stand out, apply for a job that you excel at and not one that is out of your range.
Leadership Takeaway: Culture begins with you. Teach your recruiters to source and interview only the best talent for the job. If you create a culture of greatness then it is very easy to spot and shy away from talent that cannot compete in your organization.
Human Resources Takeaway: Training your recruiters on the key skills to look for in qualified candidates will help ensure time isn’t wasted with candidates who do not fit what you are looking for. Utilize key automated screening tools that prevent job seekers who don’t qualify from even applying to the position.
Professional Development Takeaway: If you’re not a fit, that can be a good thing. Understand that by obtaining the desired qualifications, you can one day be qualified. Also, if you were to be hired for the position and you couldn’t keep up with it then you would be looking at possible termination or re-assignment. No one wants that. Take your time.
To see more job search strategies in my latest book “Never Miss the Mark: Career search strategies provided by HR Pros.“