How many times have you found a job posting for your ideal job, but then stopped yourself from applying because you don’t meet all of the job qualifications? You’re not alone, but I’m here to tell you that you’re not doing anyone a favor by not applying.
This is especially true (and important!) for the ladies out there, for it’s a well-known statistic that men apply for jobs when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women generally apply only if they meet 100% of them. Research also shows most people don't apply to jobs because they think by not meeting all the qualifications, they won’t be hired. In reality, qualifications are there to give you an idea of what you need to be successful in the position.
In these cases, it’s important that you don’t let fear of failure get in your way of applying. What does that mean for you? Play by the rules a little less and go for it, even when you don’t meet all the qualifications. They aren’t necessarily expecting you meet all of them, so don’t expect yourself to, either. Also, keep in mind that so much happens during the hiring process! During this time, other qualifications you possess that the company might not have previously considered will come to light, so get in there, show them what they’re missing, and explain why you are the best fit for the job while keeping their mission in mind.
Remember, too, that once you’re hired, it’s because they’ve decided that you are qualified. This is an important thing to realize, because a lot of us may start feeling imposter syndrome creep up on us, or we feel the need to constantly prove ourselves. With imposter syndrome, we feel like we’re faking it and that one day the curtain will be pulled back to reveal that we don’t know what the heck we’re doing. In those moments, put pen to paper and try this trick, suggested to me by life coach Dr. Erin Foley. Instead of saying to yourself, “I’m not qualified to be here,” flip it to its opposite and think of three reasons why you are qualified. “I am qualified to be here because 1) I invested in my education, 2) I contributed a great idea in last week’s meeting, and 3) I have the resources and support I need to succeed.” Seems like a simple exercise, but it has great impact.
So here’s something to remember when you’re not 100 percent qualified for a job: there’s a reason they are called job qualifications, not job requirements. Don’t let excuses come in the way of getting what you want. Put yourself out there and know your worth.