Whether you’re interested in an internship or full-time opportunity, you probably have lots of questions about the job search. One popular question we get at the CCD all the time is whether or not you should apply to a position if you do not meet all of the qualifications listed in the description. The answer to this question is yes and no, depending on the qualifications that you do and don’t have.
If you meet most qualifications, you should apply to the position; don’t look for reasons not to apply.
As long as the skill you are lacking isn’t a must have (for example, don’t apply to an accounting job if you haven’t done any accounting coursework), you can apply for the position.
In many cases, employers include a full wish list of skills and qualifications in the perfect candidate. It doesn’t mean that they expect each applicant to have every skill and experience listed. If you feel that you can do the job and can talk about why you want the job, then apply to the position. Remember, you’ll never get an interview if you don’t throw your hat into the ring.
Last semester, an employer was on campus conducting an interviewing workshop. One student asked whether or not she could apply to a position that requires coding experience. She had taught herself coding, but she had never taken classes at BU on the subject. She asked whether or not it would be appropriate for her to apply to positions requiring this skill. The employer told her she definitely should apply. All she had to do was list that she had self-taught coding experience on her resume.
Let this student’s experience be a lesson to you. Even if you think you might not be qualified for a position, making a strong pitch based on your skills and experience can make all the difference.