why you should apply for a job


Result! You’ve found the ideal job . . . but then you take a closer look at the job description and realise you don’t tick all the boxes. Your heart sinks and you decide to give it a miss. After all, what’s the point in applying when you don’t have the ‘essential’ criteria the employer is looking for? Stop and think again! This role could actually be the one for you – and you could be the one for the role. Just because you’re not a perfect match, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go.

Obviously, there’s no point applying for a job if you don’t meet most of the criteria or if the role is likely to attract heaps of qualified candidates. Or if you’re missing that vital qualification. You wouldn’t apply to be a vet if you had a degree in modern languages, even if you had a whole menagerie of pets at home. But in many instances, you might be in with a shot. Here’s why you should apply for a job even if you don’t meet all the requirements.

The perfect match is hard to find

How essential are the ‘essential’ criteria listed in the job description? The truth is that sometimes they are more nice-to-haves than must-haves. A little like the wish list someone draws up when they’re looking for a new home. The prospective home buyer is adamant they need a fireplace and a location close to the shops, but when it comes to it, they’re often prepared to compromise. They buy the house close to the shops with reverse cycle air conditioning. No fireplace. Maybe they can have one installed once they’ve moved in, they reason. It’s the same with jobs. Giving you, the job seeker, room to negotiate.

You can work on the essentials in a new job

Like the home buyer who installs a fireplace after moving in, you can build those missing essentials into your profile on the job. When you move into your new role, you may only have three years’ experience rather than the requisite five. Well, two years down the track, you’re at five! And you’ve made a valuable contribution to the organisation while gaining that experience. Similarly, you may have the opportunity to study while working, plugging any gaps identified when you land the job.

You have potential

You have something to offer an employer that may not be listed in the job description: potential. The potential to grow into the role and make it your own. The potential to become a valued member of the organisation. The potential to lead a team to success. As a job seeker, you can demonstrate to a future employer that you have the desire, motivation and ability to learn and develop.

Cultural fit is important

Sometimes a job seeker will tick all the boxes in the ‘essential’ category and still not land the job. Why? Because they are not the right cultural fit for the company. Employers are looking for individuals who believe in their company’s mission and identify with their values. You may fall short on a ‘required’ technical skill, but you could get an offer if you’re a good match for the company culture.

You offer unique skills and experience

Every job seeker has a unique profile. Some of your skills and experience may not be mentioned in the job description but they could add value to the role in unexpected and different ways. The business case for diverse skill sets – especially soft skills like communication, teamwork and problem solving – has gained traction in recent years. Now is your chance to capitalise on your strengths.

Suitably qualified candidates may be lacking

It’s a job seeker’s market right now with many employers struggling to find and retain talent. They’ll likely need to compromise in order to fill roles. What better time for you to jump in and apply for jobs even when you don’t quite meet all the criteria.

Encouraged to give it a go? Then, brush up your resume and word a powerful cover letter or two. Showcase your transferrable skills, highlight your willingness to learn, underline your potential and demonstrate a genuine interest in the role and organisation. And apply away!

If you’d like to discuss your potential for a new role, contact the team at Optimal Recruitment today on info@optimalrecruitment.com.au or 02 8416 4181.