I have been reading a lot of articles lately about many jobs going unfilled because candidates are not 100% qualified for the position. For example, manufacturing is making a come-back In the United States – at least on paper. According to the news reports, manufacturers indicate that they are frustrated because they cannot find qualified employees. Really? With the millions of people unemployed in this country, there is not ONE qualified person to fill the requirements of the job?
The issue, at least in my mind, is that job seekers do not understand how the job search works. They review a job posting and mentally catalogue their positives and negatives for the position. Say there are 10 qualifiers for the job but the seeker only has 6 of them. What happens? The job seeker moves on to the next job and that job goes unfilled.
Let’s be real for a moment. That job description with the requirements listed is for that illusive dream candidate – not for the average job seeker. When a job description is put together, the Human Resources gets together with the hiring manager and they go over the job requirements. The hiring manager, of course, knows more what is needed in the position but the Human Resources associate has done her homework, too – checking other companies for their requirements for the same type of position. So HR prods the hiring manager into adding more requirements hoping to get that dream candidate who will assist the company in meeting their mission. So, the hiring manager concedes to the HR associate and they put publish the open position with all of the combined requirements.
What happens when that job posting hits the market? Well, as a job seeker, I can tell you what happens. I see a job posting for a position that looks interesting to me. I open it up and start perusing the qualifications. It doesn’t take long before discouragement hits like a boulder and I close the job posting and go back to my job search. But really? Should I discount the interesting position because I am not 100% qualified? No!
Hiring managers know that they are not going to get everything that they ask for. Maybe you will present with skills and experience that the hiring manager and HR didn’t think about that might be even more valuable than the requirements specified in the posting. Maybe the position has 10 qualifications but you only meet 6 of them. What should you do? Apply for the position! Remember, hiring managers already know that they will not find a person with all 10 of the qualifications but if you present with 6 of the 10, more than likely your resume will at least get a look.
Over the course of my 40 years of employment, I have been hired and worked at jobs for which I had only minimal qualifications. The reason I was hired? I showed the interest; I showed that I was eager and willing to learn and then, once on the job, I did exactly that – I worked my butt off! I learned and I grew in each position.
If you are looking for a job and you see a position for which you do not have all of the qualifications, apply for the position. When you apply, state in your cover letter that you know that you don’t meet all of the qualifications they are seeking but that you are a fast learner and that you can bring additional skills that would be of great benefit to the company. Don’t be too overeager but make sure that the hiring manager knows where you stand, knows your work ethic and you might be surprised at the results.