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5 Ways to Get Hired Even If You're Unqualified

How You Can Get the Job Even If You Lack Some Qualifications

To Apply or Not to Apply...

Have you ever been combing the online job boards and stopped dead in
your tracks when you run across the perfect job? Its in your field for a
company youd love to join doing the work youve been hoping to get into.
But then you scroll down and your enthusiasm dampens.
The 4-page job description starts listing some skills you dont have. Or it
asks for 10 years of experience and youve only got five. Soon you find
yourself on that all-too-familiar fence of should I apply or not, and youre
not sure if you should even bother getting your hopes up. So, whats the
answer? Should you apply to a position for which you dont have all the
necessary qualifications?
The answer ismaybe. Every individual circumstance is different, but the
bottom line is you can (and should) apply to some jobs even if you dont
have every last requirement. Here are some tips to help you decide.
5. Find a Way to Stand Out
If you lack experience or some of the necessary skills, the bad news is
youre starting out a disadvantage. But all is not lost.
You can make up for your shortcomings with a unique or outstanding cover
letter. Your skills might not stand out compared to other jobseekers, so
youll have to focus on getting noticed and remembered in a positive light
right off the bat. If its a graphic designer position send in a customized
cover letter with knockout designs that show youre creative side, or if its a
web design position create a website that serves as your cover letter and
lets the hiring manager know youre willing to go the extra mile.
4. Focus on Your Strengths
If you dont have a skill on their list, dont pretend you do and dont try to
deny it. Instead, use your resume to highlight the attributes you do

For instance, if the position calls for public relations experience at an

agency and you dont have that, focus on how youve organically grown
your own social media following and landed media placements on your
own. Or if the job requires working knowledge of a specific program or
software that you dont have, stress a similar one you do possess and talk
about how quickly you pick up new skills and how you value training.
Shift the discussion and focus to your strengths instead of inadvertently
accentuating your weaknesses.
3. Show, Don't Tell
Maybe your work history isnt what theyre looking for, but thats no reason
not to show a potential employer what positive things the future can hold if
they give you the chance.
Again, its about framing the conversation and shifting focus. If your resume
is lacking, then focus on whats really important how you can benefit the
company if they hire you. That means doing a bunch of research on the
industry and the company, and coming up with a presentation to show them
at your interview that showcases tangible benefits.
Put together a slideshow presentation of a new revenue stream that will
increase their profits. Or pitch them your idea for saving a few hundred
thousand dollars a year with cost-savings measures. If a hiring manager
sees enough initiative and potential, your sparse work history will be
2. Accomplishments Can Trump Years of Experience
The fact that they want 10 years of experience and you dont have them is
a problem. But its not one that cant be overcome.
First of all, if you only have two years it might not be a good idea to apply,
as you actually might not be qualified. But if you have four or five years and
youve accomplished a ton in that time, then go for it. But do it by touting
those accomplishments.
Highlight the project you worked on that led to a huge increase in product
sales, or the cost-cutting initiative you spearheaded that saved $2 million
annually. If you have enough clear-cut examples of tangible

accomplishments, itll often be enough to make up for the years of

experience you lack.
1. Get a Referral
This one cant be stressed enough, hence its place as #1 on this list.
Getting an internal referral from someone within the company to which
youre applying goes such a long way to help your cause. Often, referrals
from existing employees to straight to the top of the pile and certainly
receive added consideration. Whereas not having the required experience
or skills mightve earned you a spot in the maybe pile, theres a very good
possibility youll find yourself landing an interview specifically because
someone internally has vouched for you.
Thats why its so important to make connections, maintain and harvest
your professional network, and reach out to people at the companies youre
targeting during your job search.
Then Learn How to Negotiate
Just because you're underqualified doesn't mean you have to be
unprepared. So even before you get the interview, can help.
The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the
table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our
free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position.
You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more
to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.
Good luck.

Simon T. Brainsample
75 Via Limone
New York, NY 11220
April 22, 2005
Gully T. Gumby
Specifics Manager
Fawlty Systems, Inc.
Torquay, NY 00000
Dear Mr. Gumby,

Your advertisement in Job Choices '05 prompted me to contact you about entry-level
positions in electrical engineering at Fawlty Systems, LTD. The product engineering
program at your company is very appealing. I am particularly interested in your
project on digital systems. In May of this year I will receive a Bachelor's degree in
Electrical Engineering from The Cooper Union and I hope that we will have an
opportunity to discuss employment possibilities before that time.
In addition to the knowledge I've obtained from my education, my experience as an
assistant to a plant engineer has provided me with an excellent background in the
practical aspects of electrical engineering.
During my years at The Cooper Union, I have taken on many additional
responsibilities. As a freshman, I managed the Student Council and played varsity
tennis. In my junior year I was employed by the Student Services Office where I
received first-hand experience in organization, teamwork and responsibility. I hope
that you will seriously consider my enclosed rsum, which provides full details of
my qualification.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to speaking with you. I may be
reached between the hours of 9am and 5pm at 212 355.4343.
Simon T. Brainsample
I learned about the Electrical Engineering position with Anchor Systems, Ltd on the
Cooper Career Connection Web site, and I am interested in further discussing this

exciting opportunity. As a graduating electrical engineer undergraduate student at The

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, my academic background,
coupled with my relevant work experience, has given me the tools and ability
necessary to add value to the position, and ultimately your organization.
My interest in electrical engineering is long standing and my well-rounded
background makes me an excellent candidate for the Electrical Engineering position. I
secured an IT Analyst Internship with Credit Suisse First Boston in the summer of my
freshman year, and gained exposure to the financial industry, while enhancing their
software by developing search subroutine and upload script modules. As a sophomore,
I served as Treasurer on the Student Council and played varsity tennis. In my junior
year, I attained a position in the Student Services Office where I received first-hand
experience in organization, teamwork, and responsibility. I have earned several
awards while a student at Cooper Union, including the Bausch and Lomb Award for
Excellence in Science, in June 2005 and Dean's List in the Fall of 2004.
Please find my attached rsum, which provides full details of my qualification. Feel
free to contact me at (212) 353-4567 for any following up
purposes. I appreciate your consideration and look forward to further discussing the
Electrical Engineering opportunity with you.

May 6, 2010
Mr. Andrew Smith
Director of Operations
123 Company
15 Lafayette Way
Sometown, IN 55555
Re: Mechanical Engineer Position (Ref. Code: 12345), advertised on
Dear Mr. Smith:
Your job description for a mechanical engineer perfectly matches my qualifications, and
I am very interested in the opportunity.

I have enjoyed a progressively responsible engineering career with PJ Leong and

Partners, and participated in the engineering of three major car model changes. I am
experienced in all phases of new vehicle model development and implementation, from
conception to production stages. Most recently, I have:

Contributed to major model changes for the 2008 Carname, 2007 Carname
and 2006 Carname;

Developed process plans and layouts for seven additional car models;

Reduced ergonomic impact on production team members by designing new

assist lift systems;

Helped create estimation and calculation tool for project budgets, greatly
improving negotiating power with installation contractors; and

Built rapport with overseas colleagues, often traveling to Japan for production
In addition, I have served as lead engineer in establishing standards that have reduced
costs, enhanced efficiency, improved production methods and simplified equipment and
part needs.
Mr. Smith, I have received repeated commendations from ABC Manufacturing Co. for
my work quality, revenue contributions and commitment to achieving company goals,
and I know I would be a valuable asset to your North American Division. Please feel free
to call me at 555-555-5555 or send an email to to
arrange a meeting. I look forward to speaking with you!

Date: 12 January 2016

Perunding Megatro Sdn Bhd
Block Empire Soho 2
Empire Damansara
No.2, Jalan PJU 8/8A
Daamansara Perdana PJU 8
47820, Petaling Jaya
Dear Ir Chong
I wish to apply for the post of Senior Engineer as advertised. The position seems an ideal opportunity
for me as it matches my experience, knowledge and career aspirations.
As you can see from my CV, I have amassed over10 years of significant, progressive experience in
mechanical and electrical engineering projects within the construction and gas industries. During my
career I have participated in more than 20 mechanical and electrical engineering projects, all of them
were successful.
My progressive engineering experience has provided me with the opportunity to develop strong client
relation building skills and an ability to lead multi-disciplinary teams. I am experienced at applying the
principles of mechanical and electrical engineering when planning, designing, and overseeing the
construction and maintenance of services and facilities.
I enclose my resume for your review and look forward to meeting with you in the near future. Should
you have any questions or require clarification on any information please contact me at the following
handphone number.
I would welcome the opportunity to talk to you and I hope that you will invite me for a interview. I
thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
Your sincerely
Omar Bin Mohamed Zaini

Jalan Gombak
Gombak. Selangor
Mobile: 0193260153