What do you do when you know you'd be great at the position, but your background doesn't make you an obvious fit?
Imagine that you've come across the job position that is your dream and you think you would be great in it, but the problem is they are seeking for someone with 10+ years experience who’s managed a large team, and they prefer people with MBAs. And you don't have those things. So, what do you do? Should you settle for something less or should you apply anyway?
Here is what we will tell you: If you come across a job posting you really like, but feel you don’t meet all the qualifications for whatever reason, apply anyway. Why? Because the truth is you don't really have to meet all those requirements listed on job-description. Think of job descriptions as a hiring manager’s wish list for the ideal candidate, not as a list of non-negotiable requirements.
Here's some strategies that you can use throughout the hiring process to land the job you want even when it feels just out of reach.
Understand The Job You're Applying For
It's quite obvious that you always want to understand the job you're applying for and if you're trying to position yourself outside of your normal area, it's even more critical than usual. It doesn't really matter how much do you want to land the position of an IT manager - if you know nothing about computer engineering, programming, networking etc. - you are not qualified for the job.
Only apply for jobs that you know you actually able to do. Make sure that you really understand the nature of the role and the specific challenges a person in that job would face every day. Then write a resume and a cover letter that will demonstrate how what you have learned, accomplished, and experienced would allow you to be the best candidate for that role.