By: Teri DePuy
When is close good enough? As a job seeker, you’ve discovered an excellent opportunity with a great company; however, your work experience is only a 70% match and you might be wondering, “Should I even bother applying?” My advice is a resounding yes! Assuming you’ve mastered the art of telling a compelling story about who you are and what you can bring to an organization, then close just might be good enough. Let’s look at four key areas to help you overcome the fear of not being an eligible candidate.
Build the Brand
Master the art of conveying your brand – know with certainty what makes you unique and how you can rise above the competition. A foundational element of your job search is the ability to concisely introduce yourself (whether in person or via your cover letter) and articulate your knowledge, skills and abilities, the benefits you bring to an organization and the culture in which you thrive. Consider engaging input from your closest confidants to identify when you’re at your best. How do you show up?
A well-written, error-free, two-page resume that not only describes the roles and responsibilities of your work experience must also include impactful accomplishments and the quantifiable results to show a prospective employer the benefits you will contribute. In this competitive market, it’s imperative your customized resume speaks to the essential requirements of the posting emulating the phraseology, keywords, and skills contained within the job specification. Websites such as Resunate and Jobscan can help you measure how closely your resume aligns with the job posting.
Spotlight Transferable Skills
Analysis of the job requirements will help you identify those transferable skills you’ve developed over your career. While these skills may not be directly applicable to this particular industry, they are talents you’ve mastered over your work career and should be highlighted in all of your marketing tools and interview planning. Example skills might be project management, leadership, problem-solving or customer relations. Your ability to confidently answer behavioral interview questions with compelling stories that demonstrate essential skills is imperative to filling the fit gap.
Connect with Colleagues
Don’t be shy about asking a trusted colleague to provide a warm introduction to a prospective employer to “open doors” for further conversation. As talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers must cull through 100s of resumes for any one position, don’t overlook one of the best means to move to the top of the stack which is an introduction from a well-respected mutual acquaintance in your network. As a bonus, let them generally know what to say and how to shine the best light on you.
If the voice inside your head is instilling fear about your fit and holding you back from applying to the one perfect job, I encourage you to take a pause. Re-evaluate your toolkit, create a customized resume and cover letter that identifies your accomplishments, responsibilities and transferable skills, then go for it and apply with confidence even when you’re not a 100% match.
I’d love to hear your success stories about a time when you landed a great new job, and you were not a perfect candidate on paper.