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How can I address gaps in my knowledge or knowledge that deviates from my field when applying to a job?

Office Hours #1: Resume Writing with Judy Park [37:50]

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#resume #resume-building #job-applications #skillset

Thank you comment icon Judy Park's answer: Definitely the cover letter. Be honest and professional in your cover letter, that's what employers look for. Also, leverage your network! Ask someone you know if there's someone you could talk to to get a better feel for what a job in that field would look like and what skills you might be missing. Never be afraid to ask for help. Most people have been in the same boat and want to help you succeed. CareerVillage Office Hours

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Jill’s Answer

I have found it best to focus on what skills I have that are similar (transferable) and that it is an interest area of mine to explore that field. I demonstrate my enthusiasm (if it is genuine) and try to give evidence that I am a fast learner and have picked up other unique skills previously. Good luck!
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Stacie’s Answer

It is perfectly normal that you will have gaps in knowledge when applying for a role. Make sure that you do your research so that you can fill those gaps. Typical ways to do that: (1) Study the company -- follow the latest news, review their financial releases and annual reports if they are public (even for a Product/Technical role); (2) Study the industry -- figure out the company's competitors and trends in the market; (3) Study the function. Where you have gaps for the function, read up on those areas or take a course; (4)Display relevant skills on your resume or volunteer opportunities where you may have used those skills but in a different context;

Show up and Get Connected: (1) Write a killer cover letter that highlights what you've learned and how you're the right fit; (2) Get connected on LinkedIn with people in the firm and find out more through information interviews/internal submission.

Those gaps that you have may actually become assets so that you can look at things in a new way. Good luck!
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Chirayu’s Answer

When applying for a job that requires knowledge outside of your current field, you can address gaps in your knowledge or deviations in the following ways- Highlight the skills you have developed in your current field that are relevant to the new job and how they can be transferred. Express your eagerness to learn and your commitment to acquiring the knowledge and skills required for the job. Consider taking courses, online tutorials or attending workshops that will help fill the knowledge gap. Reach out to professionals in the field to gain a deeper understanding of the role and what it entails. Explain in your cover letter or interview that you may not have all the required knowledge yet but are willing to learn and have a plan to acquire it. By doing these, you can demonstrate your ability to adapt and be proactive in acquiring the necessary knowledge for the job.
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Jordan’s Answer

I would focus on the strengths that you have that are required for that position. By identifying such qualities, you can make clear connections for why you would be a great fit for that position despite the lack of knowledge.

There have been a few positions in which I didn’t possess the level of knowledge or years of qualification for a particular position. When this was mentioned in the job interview, I focused on what skills I had that fit the job as well as qualities that would allow me to grow within it. For instance, for my current position I didn’t have knowledge for the Medicare Advantage/Healthcare industry. However, I have had multiple years in P&C insurance and held prior positions in which I had to research/gain knowledge on subjects in a short time in order to be successful. When this question was presented to me in the interview, I highlighted my work ethic and ability as well as passion to learn new areas. I proceeded to give a few examples and the success I had from my past work experiences.
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Ali’s Answer

I think if the knowledge gap is on a skill that is required by your would-be employer, you can articulate a path on how you would overcome that gap. Ie., how are you going to commit to enabling yourself to get the skill required for this job? In some cases, the skill may be a non-starter...but it is worth applying for a job REGARDLESS and let the employer decide rather than ruling yourself out.
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Priscilla’s Answer

Your resume and the job description will never be a 100% match, and recruiters know that. Your resume should focus on what is being asked, yes, but also on your strengths. If possible, bridge the gaps somehow (volunteering, certifications, etc).
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Hannah’s Answer

You are not alone! Most times when you are applying for a job there will be some gaps but it is important to focus on the parts of your previous knowledge that does apply. Make alot of connections between work you have previously done/seen that can be brought back to be similar parts of their job requirements. Also do your research! An easy way to get ahead is if someone might require, lets say Salesforce, go on and make a free account and click around. Become comfortable and gain some insight into what the website looks like, the vocab, and uses.

Goodluck!
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Tamisha’s Answer

It's normal to have gaps in the requirements on a job description. If you fit all of the qualifications 100%, you would want to ask yourself if you are applying for a position that will push you to grow professionally. Be honest about the gaps that exist and lean on the strengths you bring to the table. Having confidence in your abilities while being willing and eager to learn new things will serve you well.
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Brian’s Answer

Be up front and honest, address the gaps. Be prepared with background about why there are gaps. Don't act like it's a terrible thing, everyone has different situations arise, it could show character.
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Simeon’s Answer

One of the things that you can do is to study on your own to get significant experience or certifications that show you have skills that cover your skill gap. Also, if you have similar skills you used in a different job, make sure to add bullet points below the experience specifying why the experience was relevant. Try to match the language of the job description you're applying for as much as you can.
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Jai’s Answer

It is normal to have such gaps while applying for a specific job. I would encourage you to find a story behind that gap and put that forward with honesty. Interviewers would actually appreciate your honesty and you may end up getting rewarded for that honesty as getting the job. Good luck!
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