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Underqualified - that's how you get the job anyway
There are hardly any similarities between making a career 50 years ago and today. It used to be common for you to start in one company and go into a well-deserved retirement with the same employer. In the meantime, however, it has become common and even beneficial for your career to change companies at regular intervals. The advantage of that? As a “newbie” you always bring a breath of fresh air and, above all, new perspectives that long-term employees lose over the years. Is it now time for you to take a new career step? But you “possibly” lack the qualifications for it? The following tips can help you to get your dream job even if you are supposedly underqualified.
“Underqualified” is a matter of opinion
First of all: You have to be honest with yourself. Which of the required skills do you really have and which do not? Is it a flexible position for which, from a purely technical point of view, you have no training, but can teach yourself everything you need to do? Or is the career leap really too big and, from a purely objective point of view, unrealistic? There is certainly the possibility of citing missing qualifications in an interview as a motivator for further training: “I have not yet been able to develop these skills sufficiently, but that is also the reason why I apply to you. In order to develop personally and professionally. ”Of course, you cannot apply for a specialist position without having the appropriate specialist knowledge. However, if you only lack some of the required skills, you are not automatically underqualified.
When making an assessment, you should also take into account that your self-confidence often throws you off the hook. Just because you doubt yourself and believe that you are not fully qualified doesn't mean that your recruiter will see it right away. Therefore: just try it. Something worse than a no cannot happen to you.
Research, research, research
You already know it from other jobs: The research before the first interview is simply part of it. However, if you want to reach for the stars, it goes without saying that you have to throw yourself into it. Find out more about the company and the industry in which it operates. Read reviews on employer review portals like kununu.com to make sure you know about the corporate culture. Because if you not only show in the interview that you would like to have the job, but have already put a lot of work into the preparation, there are definitely pluses.
"Basically there was little or no recognizable know-how about the requirements for the advertised position." - Evaluation of the application process at Hofer KG
Especially if you are looking to change your industry, your flexibility is the be-all and end-all. Instead of worrying about which specific qualifications you are lacking, think about how you can apply the experience you have already gained to your potential new professional environment. For example, you may never have led a team before but organized your ex-employer's annual charity gala. This shows that you are able to make decisions, solve problems, communicate and manage different resources effectively. With these broad skills, you will ultimately qualify for your new position.
Personalize your application
Make it easier for your recruiter to see the similarities between your work experience and your desired position. How do you do that? Highlight the qualifications that match the job description and use similar wording for them. Normally, recruiters spend six seconds with your application. Not a lot? That's why it's all the more important that keywords jump at them to differentiate you from the other applications.
Sell your personal story
Too often applicants make a certain mistake: They tell the same thing in their cover letter as in their résumé. If your résumé does not clearly fit the advertised job profile, however, you should leave it alone as soon as possible. Instead, you should convince in your letter of motivation why you are the best candidate for the job and highlight your strengths and skills that are not discovered at first glance on your resume. Tell a story why you would like to have this exact job and why you will quickly familiarize yourself with your new tasks. If you provide a coherent argument about where you currently stand and where you would like to be in the future, your recruiter will notice that it is a special application - instead of mass production. Apart from that, it may generate lasting interest and the chance to get the job anyway.
“I was not asked any questions that indicated that the company was genuinely interested in me.” - Evaluation of the application process at Dorotheum GmbH & co KG
There are gaps in your résumé that you cannot cover up. For example, if the requirement is that you have to master this or that graphics program, but you have simply never dealt with it before, then solve the problem before it becomes you. “Although I have not yet used the XYZ tool, my five years of experience with the ABC program and my quick familiarization phase with System Q in my current position have shown me that I can quickly and efficiently familiarize myself with new programs. I will also be attending a course from next month to improve my skills in the area of XYZ. ”By the way, you should really attend that because a qualified training in your desired field increases your chances of getting a job in this industry many times over .
Expand your network
Especially if you want to take a big step in your career, you cannot do without your work network. Ask around at acquaintances or research whether someone might not have friends at your dream employer. How do you do that? Create a profile on XING, make contacts and not only gain insider knowledge, but also one or two friends who could give your application a little nudge.
Never say never!
It may be that, in the eyes of the recruiter, you are actually not sufficiently qualified for the desired position. But that doesn't mean that your dream is over. Instead, you can actively ask what requirements a successful application should have had and actively improve them. In the meantime, for example, apply for a junior position and enjoy the time you study. You can then reapply for the relevant positions with the best possible training.
This article first appeared in English. You can find the original here.
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