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Actually, You Should Apply for Jobs You’re Not 100% Qualified For

By | Kristen Walker |

As a career coach, I’ve heard just about every struggle you can imagine about job searching. But the challenge I hear most often is actually the one that’s easiest to fix.

More than anything else, my clients tell me, “I found a few jobs I would absolutely love, but I’m not qualified for them, so there’s no use applying.”

You’ve likely experienced this same thing. You find an incredible opening, but it asks for six to eight years of experience, and you only have four, or it’s a in a different industry than you’re in now, or there are a few bullet points in the job descriptions that you’ve never done before.

So you write it off and settle for something that you’re less excited about, but 100% sure you can do.

Big mistake.

It might seem logical to only go after jobs you’re fully qualified for, but it’s an extremely limiting (and unnecessary) mindset, and you’ll wind up cutting yourself off from potentially amazing opportunities! Not only have I given this advice to my own clients, but I’ve had HR professionals and hiring managers back me up on this. You don’t need to be 100% qualified in order to be the best candidate for the job, but you do need to keep in mind the human factor and share your enthusiasm, passion, and soft skills.

And no, I’m not in denial as to why so many people do this. After all, you’re probably thinking that if you’re not fully qualified for the job, then it’s a waste of time to apply, right? You don’t want to waste your own time or the employer’s time. That seems logical, but I don’t believe it’s the real reason we hold ourselves back. Rather, what’s really going on is two major things:

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