4 answers

Applying for jobs


Should you apply for jobs if you don't have all the recommended skills needed? Can you learn them when you get there? #job-search #resume #job-application

4 answers

Kim’s Answer

Updated San Antonio, Texas


By all means, if you have most of the qualifications, go for it! But. . . read the job announcement very carefully! It usually will distinguish between "required" and "preferred" qualifications. Employers HATE when you apply for jobs if you do not meet the "required" qualifications. They think you are being disrespectful of their time, and, they may not hire you for any subsequent position if you do something like this!

Also, pay attention to the salary, if posted. If a job pays very well, the company will likely get enough highly qualified applicants to choose from. But, if it pays less, they are going to have to be willing to be flexible.

While it is true you can learn some skills on the job, sometimes companies need someone who can hit the ground running. Also, if it is a basic skill, you really should already possess it - you would not expect an Administrative Assistant to not know MS Word, for example!

I read somewhere, (I can't remember where, or I'd give credit!) that Men will apply for jobs if they match 60% of the qualifications, but Women look for that 100% match. I have seen it happen!! A lady was the ideal candidate for a position, except for one minor thing. (something like replacing the bottled water). And she tried to talk herself out of it! By all means, don't do that!

Some employers are more concerned that the candidate will be a good fit with the rest of the team, and are willing to train. Sometimes it just depends on why they have the vacancy and how much time they have to do that training. What I recommend is that you try to take a truly objective look at your qualifications, and the position, and, ask yourself if you were the employer, if you would interview you!

If it is a position you truly want, you should write a really good cover letter to go with it, to address any concerns they might have.

hope this helps!


This is great advice! Thanks so much for sharing Kim!
You're welcome!

Lauren’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

Hi Naysa!

Great question! It's tough when looking for a job feeling like you are under qualified- I have definitely been there! Don't let that stop you from applying though. I have been in recruiting for 6 years now and I have hired several people who didn't have the exact qualifications needed. It's always good to leverage your connections and contacts in your job search because the people who know you or went to the same high school/college will be more willing to take a risk of hiring someone who maybe doesn't have all the necessary skills. Also, if you are applying to a role that is outside of your scope- add a cover letter explaining why you want to be in this field of work or at that specific company. Most hiring managers would like to hire someone with passion for the work and company, so if you can showcase that in the cover letter, you are more likely to get contacted.

Let me know if I can clarify any of the above or answer anymore questions!

Best of luck! :)


Thank you Lauren! I appreciate your answer and I will definitely take your advice!
i appreciate it Thanks!!!!!!

Jordan’s Answer

I highly suggest that you apply for jobs, even if you do not have all of the qualifications required. I work in sales and hire maybe 1-2 people per month to fill sales roles. It is hugely important for me to find diverse candidates, and that means that I speak to candidates who do not always meet all of the requirements I set out for the job opening. When I am hiring new folks, I have to think about who I have currently on my team and how I can make the team more well rounded with a new candidate; for example, I would not want to hire 10 people who are all very similar (in their work history, in what they studied in college, in where they are from). I would rather take a candidate who worked in HR and who is a bit of an introvert, as well as a candidate who climbs mountains and loves to be an extrovert; they both offer unique attributes that benefit my team, and I am less concerned about how qualified they are, because we offer a lot of training on the job!

Awesome! Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it!

Rachael’s Answer

Hi Nysa,

You question prompted me to think of an article brought to my attention a while back I linked below. I would certainly recommend you pursue applying if you feel as though the position would be a fit for you AND you would be a fit for it. I would consider whether you think you could perform well within the position with the exception of the required skill. If you are lacking a required skill you may have others the employer finds more valuable. The qualifications listed could be rigid but I wouldn't let it discourage you from trying in the event they are not!