No Experience, No Problem

Should I Apply For A Job If I Don't Meet All of the Requirements?

Jun 10, 2023

Have you ever come across a job description that got you really excited?

You think to yourself...

"This is the one! This sounds like a great job!"

As you go through the requirements for the job, your excitement quickly turns into despair and frustration.

Despite it being a great job, you don't meet all the listed requirements. Maybe they're asking for qualifications you don't have, or a certain number of years of experience in the industry.

As a result, you give up and move on.


But do you really need to fulfil every single requirement on the list?

Let's find out starting with the job description that initially put us off...

When you had to hire someone yourself, did you sit there with the job description and a pen, only deciding to hire a candidate if they ticked every job description requirement? I bet you didn't.

Instead, you had an idea of the top skills you wanted the candidate to possess and assessed them based on that.

Let me ask you this as well: Who are job descriptions written for anyway? Who do you think is the main candidate they have in mind when writing a job description?

1. Dave/Janet, who just left the role.
2. Average Dave/Janet, who is average at the job.
3. Super Dave/Janet, who is the best possible candidate for the role.

Of course, it will be written for Super Dave/Janet!

But do they even exist?

If they did, wouldn't they already be doing the role? Why would someone perfect for the role be making a lateral move? It's because it's expected that someone won't meet all the criteria, but the more they meet, the more ideal they would be.


Here's the thing: job descriptions are designed to weed people out.

In many cases, job descriptions are meant to weed out people who aren't truly motivated for the job. Employers invest a significant amount of time and money during the recruitment stage. As a result, they create as many barriers as possible (over-qualified job descriptions) to ensure they weed out individuals who aren't genuinely serious. If someone isn't willing to apply for a job because they lack a few things, what does that say about their motivation for the job? Not much, right?


But is there an acceptable number of missing requirements?

Well, when you started a new role in your career, were you ever 100% ready for it? Or did you grow into it? When I first became a Store Manager, I was excited, but I felt completely out of my depth for many months. Even though I had worked in Retail for a long time and had similar responsibilities in my previous role, I wouldn't have matched the job description 100% at the time. Probably around 70-80%. I was expected to develop and grow into the role, which I did. You should look at external job descriptions the same way too. Rarely does a person meet every single requirement, so if you feel like you possess the core competencies, you should apply.


That brings me to the final point: it's called a career change for a reason.

You are changing careers, so it's expected that you won't meet the job description 100%. If you did, it wouldn't be much of a change, would it? You should go for jobs where you match about 70%-80% of the job description. Why that range? Because you'll have enough transferable skills to have a fighting chance, but it's also a significant enough difference to ensure you're making a substantial career change (after all, you don't want a job just like your current one, do you?).


In summary...

If you believe you can do the job and are a good match in some areas, you should absolutely put yourself out there. Don't let a few requirements put you off from the career change you desire. 

Just make sure you're being realistic and know the difference between being almost qualified and not even close...

That's all for this week!

Thanks for reading.


Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

1. I'd recommend starting with an affordable course:

Career Idea Generator: Unlock Exciting Career Ideas Outside of Retail

The Proven Framework for Generating 30+ Career Ideas Outside of Retail Without Sacrificing Your Salary (Even if You Have Absolutely No Experience in Other Industries)

The Job Offer Blueprint: How to Secure Interviews for Your Dream Career Outside of Retail.

The Job Offer Blueprint Is a Multi-Step System for Generating a Pipeline of Interviews for Careers in Exciting Industries - Even if You’ve Only Worked in Retail

2. If you need more hands-on 1:2:1 support.

Join the Retail Escape Academy. The Retail Escape Academy Is a Proven, All-In-One System for Landing a Job You Love Without Connections, Without Traditional “Experience,” and Without Using Job Search Websites. Includes both "Career Idea Generator" and "Job Offer Blueprint" courses. In addition: Self-Marketing Mastery, Nailing Your Interviews + Loads of Hands-On Support. 

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