So, you’ve found a job you want to apply for. It sounds fun, interesting, it pays well and it’s got all the perks you’re looking for. The only catch is that your experience, qualifications or skills don’t quite match what the job description is asking for.
But this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. If your experience is way off base then perhaps this job isn’t the right fit for you, but if you’ve have tangible experience in a similar field, or have transferable skills that could really lend themselves to this position, it’s well worth your time to try and land yourself an interview.
The key is how you communicate your awesomeness! See our tips below for matching your skills to the job you want, rather than that job you can easily walk into:
Think like a hiring managerIf you were the one hiring for this position, why would you hire you? What reasons can you give a recruiter beyond “I’m really passionate” that will make them see you as a qualified candidate?
To begin with, carefully read the job description. Take some time (like, some actual time) to really research and learn about the company and its latest happenings. Then, think about if you were hiring for this company, what would you hope to see on someone’s resume? You wouldn’t expect CVs from people who have zero relatability to the role, so make sure your own experience actually aligns with what the business is looking for.
Identify key transferable skillsAssessing your own experience, in order to work how you can fill gaps in the sectors you want to move into, is an essential exercise if you want to stand out from the crowd utilising your core transferable skills. To work out what these are and apply them to a new role, think about the following:
Then, take your learnings from these questions and write down how these things are transferable to the job you’re wanting to apply to. The key here is understanding the business you’re targeting and what strategic value you can offer them.
Portray your ability to learn new skills (quickly)If your experience doesn’t completely match the role, you’ll need to show proof that you can learn - and that you can pick up new things fast! After all, why should they hire someone they have to teach the ropes to when they could just hire someone else who already has the skills they need?
List all training courses you’ve taken, share projects you have worked on either as part of your role or as a side role, and show tangible results for how your learnings in these arenas helped the business achieve success. That’s what they want to see.
Showcase your soft skills. You are the full package!Recruiters aren’t simply looking for someone with the right skills - they need someone who fits their culture. Someone with a great personality who can bring the right feel and tone to the team - especially if you’re going for a management position. Good communication skills, superb time management, problem-solving skills, being a team player, accepting and giving of feedback - all of these soft skills are things hiring managers want to see. Paired with the right transferable skills and your ability to learn, you could have a really good chance at convincing them you’re the perfect person for this job.