Should you apply anyway? This is a question many job seekers face, but not one that you should stress over. Applying when you’re underqualified is totally acceptable as long as you have read the job description and know that this is something that you have a chance at.
Ask yourself these questions first: How underqualified are you? Can you do the job? There are times when you certainly won’t, and you must be honest with yourself from reading the job description. If the job requires a doctorate degree and you only have a Bachelor’s, you’ll probably just be wasting your and the company’s time.
Other criteria might include years of experience and specific skill sets. This is where things are a bit more flexible. If you meet some but not all of the requirements and you read the job description and you know you can do the job, then go for it! But you’ll need to do a few extra steps to ensure that you indeed leave an impression even if underqualified:
Applying When You’re Underqualified
You’ll Need a Superb Cover Letter
You will need a powerful cover letter. Don’t embellish, be honest. You will sell yourself even more than normal in this cover letter and show why you are valuable beyond the experience. The cover letter is where you show how you will make up the difference of not having each item they have listed as a requirement for the job. Don’t just say you are flexible; show how you are flexible.Explain in detail that you are willing to be trained and go the extra mile to increase your skills. Remember skills are teachable, passion is not. What makes you stand out? Focus on your strengths. What accomplishments do you have that are worth more than the years of experience?
Be Prepared for an Interview
Be prepared to support your claims in the interview. Do your research on company and job and bring to the interview an example of your willingness to go the extra mile. Have a presentation on how you will contribute and your passion needs to shine. I believe companies hire people that impress them with their abilities but also their willingness to do the work and learn to be successful.
If you never take the risk to leap forward you will never know if it is possible! Explore opportunities on AgCareers.com and don’t be afraid to apply even if you are underqualified. Also, you may be interested in the June 13, 2017 AgCareers.com Virtual Career Fair. Get registered now to find out more information in the coming months.