This is a common situation for a lot of people job searching.
You’re browsing jobs in your desired career and come across a job description that sounds perfect for you. In your heart you know you want to apply. That is, until you reach the requirement section which says X-plus years of experience.
The issue is: you don’t have the required amount of experience.
Don’t give up quite yet.
Let’s go back to the job description. A job description is sort of like a wish list that the company or hiring manager is looking for in an applicant.
Typically, in the job description are adjectives of the kind of person they’re looking for. Think of this as a would-like-to-have section. They would like to have someone who is independent, proactive, has transferable skills and understands ___________.
While the requirements don’t describe your situation, the job description might. You could still apply!
Besides, haven’t you heard stories of someone who “met all the qualifications” being passed over for someone who “seemed like a better fit?” For instance, a company would much rather hire the applicant with two years of experience who seems like they could seize the opportunity than someone with the required number of years who failed to demonstrate strong communication skills.
Candidate 1: checks all the boxes, but hasn't increased or improved their skillsets in any previous role.
Candidate 2: doesn't entirely fit all the requirements but has a history of quickly expanding their skillsets in every past role.
Who would you hire?
Most hiring managers are going to be more excited about candidate with passion and who demonstrates some understanding to the key elements of the role than a candidate who has the exact number of years.
While having experience is important, it shouldn’t be the first filter applied to candidates. Companies and hiring managers can assess a candidate’s potential a better way during the interview.
If you’re interested in a role and could see yourself doing a great job, don’t let the fact that you don’t meet every single criterion in a job description stop you from applying.
You might not be selected for an interview; but you could also be the best person for the job; applying is the only way you’ll find out.