Should I Apply to a Job if I Don’t Have Experience?

It happens so often that people miss a job opportunity because they actually don’t’ have the qualifications listed don’t have the qualifications or experience listed on the job posting so they don’t apply. Well NEWS FLASH! All the requirements and experience listed on the ad just make up a “wish list” for employers. They may not expect a candidate to have all those qualifications but still list them to weave out anyone who is not 100% qualified for the position.

An easy rule to remember is that if you have more than 50% of the qualifications and experience listed in the posting, you should apply. Most employers are willing to train new candidates and make exceptions if the qualifications and experience are very easy to learn.

However, don’t apply to a job if there is a very specific and mandatory education or skill requirement that you don’t have. The bottom line is to apply even if you think you don’t have experience but feel like you can confidently take on the role.

Transferable skills are an asset

After going through a good amount of schooling and having some work experience under your belt, there have got to be some skills you already have which can be transferred over to the job you want to apply to.

Work-related experience: See if the skills you’ve picked up during your previous work experiences can be applied to the job. For example, if you were a leader of six people and the job ad requires a supervisor to oversee 10 people, you still have the potential to become a supervisor because: a) You were already in a role that required some kind of leadership of others b) You know a thing or two about managing others, even if it’s less than the amount in the job ad.

Breaking into different industries: Breaking into a different industry can also work because employers might want new insight in the company. If you are an accountant and want to work in a payroll company, they might take a second look at you because the skills of an accountant are similar to payroll positions.

Your cover letter will support your “no/lack of experience”

Like we mentioned before, your cover letter can make or break your chances at getting the job. So even if you don’t have the exact experience they’re looking for, use your cover letter to highlight the experiences you do have that would make you an asset to their company.

Convince the employer: This goes back to thinking about all the transferable skills you have. If you write your cover letter well, you will have the hiring manager sold on the fact that even if you don’t have experience, you do have the skills. In the letter, talk about how your skills can be applied to the role and how you can benefit the company as a whole.

Show your knowledge for the position/industry: Do your research on the position or industry you are applying for so you know the key points to hit when writing the cover letter. That knowledge may make the difference between an interview and being passed over for one.

Maybe You’ll Get Lucky

You never know what is going on in the minds of hiring managers and their intentions for the company. Maybe they want someone who isn’t familiar with the industry to bring in new perspectives. Or they like your resume and cover letter so much that they are willing to offer you an interview. The possibilities are endless. Applying for a job even if you don’t have exact experience doesn’t hurt but it certainly does increase your chances at a job offer than not submitting one at all.

 

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