Not Sure If You Should Apply?

Not Sure If You Should Apply?

 

Sometimes you see a job listing and you are absolutely sure you would be a shoe in for the job. Your qualifications and experiences line up perfectly with the job description. All you have to do is research the company and customize your resume and cover letter to fit this job and send.

 

Not an exact fit

Then there are times when it’s less cut and dry. You don’t have all the qualifications they’re looking for. Your experiences are similar to what they’re looking for, but you can’t go down the list of requirements and put a checkmark beside each one.

 

However, you believe you could do this job. Not just that, you believe you could excel at it. Should you apply anyway? Here are a few things to think about.

 

How do your skills match up?

Read the job description carefully. Imagine what a typical day would involve. What tasks would you be required to perform? How would you interact with other people? Have you done similar things in the past? Will the skills you have enable you to do the job? Could they help bring a new perspective to the position?

 

Do you fit most of the requirements?

The requirements listed for a job are often an ideal set of qualifications and experiences the employer is looking for, but it doesn’t mean every one of them is necessary to fulfill the requirements of the position. If you have the majority of the skills listed, then don’t hesitate to apply. Qualifications can be learned. Potential is inherent in the person.

 

Think about transferable skills

The answers to the above questions will make up the body of your cover letter. Talk about the skills you have and how they can be transferred to help you excel in this role. Use them to help the hiring manager see the benefits of giving you an interview. From there it’s up to you to make the case for your potential in person.

What Exactly Does That Job Posting Mean

What Exactly Does That Job Posting Mean

“How can I get experience, when every job requires at least 3 years of experience.” This question is often asked with a hint of sarcasm by job seekers who are looking to apply for a new job. A job posting can seem filled with language that’s hard to understand and process. The truth is, a lot of companies, just like job seekers, make their jobs look as good as they can.

 

So how can you figure out exactly what employers are looking for? If the ad says must have 1-3 years experience, what does that mean?

Motivated Team-Player

Many job postings have terms you hear only in job ads and nowhere else. Terms like “Motivated team-player or “Customer-focused self-starter”. What do these things even mean? Careerealism has a funny look at what each of these mean. Here are a couple of  examples:

 

Resourceful, Independent Self-Starter

Since we have absolutely no time or resources to train you, we expect you to figure everything out for yourself… quickly.

Attentive To Details

We have strict policies and procedures and won’t hesitate to blame you for everything if you make a mistake.

 

While Careerealism is having some fun here, there’s a little bit of truth to it. Just like a lot of job seekers who come up with interesting ways to explain their skills, job ads also have a tendency to butter up what skills they are looking for. Most of these terms usually just mean the job posting is looking for a hard worker who is able to keep on task.

Opportunity for Growth

When reading the job description itself, pay careful attention to a variety of buzzwords like “Opportunity for growth.” While at the outset that sounds promising, make sure to take a moment and consider what else that might mean. Phrases like this can often have a deeper meaning.

 

Most of the time, a job is what you make of it. Every job has the opportunity for growth, in every position you’ll have to work with others and by yourself. Find the things that separate this job from the next one to get a better sense of whether this job is the right one for you.

The Requirements

This is where we’ll usually find that pesky “1-3 years of experience” line. CNN points out that the language used can help you better understand how serious you should take each one.

“When a job listing says ‘required,’ it’s a lot firmer. Employers are trying to narrow the field,” says Tom Allen, director of career services at DeVry University in Decatur, Georgia.

A skill that’s listed as “preferred” is not necessarily essential for a candidate to have.”

 

Allen also notes that if you have around 80% of the stated requirements you’re in an excellent position to apply for the position. Employers aren’t expecting someone who perfectly matches every requirement and description. They’re looking for someone close to that.

 

So even if you don’t have the 1-3 years of experience, but you do have a number of the other required skills, apply for the job!

Tip Tuesday: 5 Ways to Think Outside the Box

You often hear the saying “think outside the box”. This can apply to you when something isn’t going the way you want it to or you just want to experience something different in your life. But how to you actually ‘think outside the box’?

First off, you need to understand that thinking outside the box requires you to take risks and approach problems with new and innovative ideas. Here are five ways to do something else rather than what everyone else is doing.

1. Talk to people outside of your industry:
Chat with people who completely have nothing to do with the industry or line of work you are in/want to get in to. For example, if you’re an engineer, talk to someone in the music business. Those people might not be able to help you directly with engineering, but they also go through struggles and find ways to overcome it. Don’t trap yourself in the engineering bubble. New ideas from new people can set that light bulb off in your head.

2. Copy successful people:
Copying people you look up to or have been down the same career path that you desire can really help you think outside the box. Learn about how people in the past have dealt with struggles and found ways to overcome it. Motivational books can also help. The best things about these books are that you get to read about the people who did things differently and how they were able to achieve success in their careers by not doing the same thing as everyone else.

3. Take a class:
Who cares if you’ve already graduated? You can always sign up for part-time classes or take one full-time class and work on the side. Classes will help you learn something different and push new ideas into your brain. Plus, you also get to meet new people who can help you with your career or future goals!

4. Do some yoga:
Mind, body and soul. Without sounding all philosophical, you need to sometimes get in touch with your inner self, forget all the other things around you, and focus. Focus on a fresh new start.

5. Never say never:
Just because it hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean YOU can’t be the first to do it. It also doesn’t mean that it’s the wrong way to do it. The whole point of thinking outside the box is to outsmart everyone and come up with something new and creative!

 

Social Media Series (Part 2): Best FREE Job Apps for Your Phone

Most things are mobile friendly these days and people take their phones with them wherever they go. So why not use it to apply for jobs? Download these free apps and apply on the go!

Job Board Phone Apps
Known job boards that are now mobile friendly.

Indeed: The biggest job search engine in the world right now and it’s very user friendly on your mobile device. Receive job alerts straight to your phone and you can also upload your resume from there. If you see something suitable to your friend, there is a button for you to email it to them, again, through your phone.

CareerBuilder.com: The great thing about this app is that you can search jobs by description, keywords or salary. But that’s not all! It also allows you to search for job openings nearby with GPS capabilities.

BeKnown: A professional networking site launched by the popular job board, Monster. BeKnown is an app where you can view individual profiles, connect with them and see their recent updates. You can also use this app to search for jobs on Monster.com/ca

Social Media Phone Apps
People use LinkedIn so often that they may not think that it could be a very useful tool for job hunting.

LinkedIn: If you’re a LinkedIn user, you already know that there is a job board section       on their website. If you download the app, you can search jobs like you normally do on your computer. You can also save jobs to apply to them later and obviously connect with others wherever you go.

Twitter: Using proper hashtags (NOTE: Please hyperlink “Using proper hashtags to blog title “Social Media Series (Part 1)”] will narrow down your job search. A list of positions will appear in the “discover” section of Twitter on your phone. Use hashtags such as #jobs #hiring or #[position name].

Other Awesome Phone Apps
Primarily used on mobile devices.

TweetMyJobs: The cool thing about this app is that it uses the GPS to locate where you are on the map and automatically populates the map view with current jobs nearby. It then gives you the option to view it “as a map”, “street view” or “list view”. You can also select the “search range” for jobs, whether it’d be a 3 or 20-mile radius from your location.

Proven: Allows you to search and apply for jobs on Craigslist and Indeed on your phone and you can also upload your resume and cover letter. The app also attracts applicants.

JobServe: Your job search can get very specific by using this. You can search for jobs with a number of filters: how long the job has been posted, salary, industry, permanent, full-time or contract, location and keyword.

 

 

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.