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Candidate Advice

Applying for jobs even if you do not meet all the requirements!

By Antal International

Have you ever come across a captivating job title, full of enthusiasm, only to see it vanish as you scroll down the long list of requirements? It's a common scenario where the qualifications of a job can put potential candidates off before they've even had a chance to finish reading it. But here's the million-dollar question: do you really need to tick off every item on that list?

A study has revealed an intriguing phenomenon. Men are more likely to apply for jobs for which they only meet 60% of the requirements, while women tend to refrain from applying if they don't meet 100% of the requirements.

This Talent Talks article will help you assess how to apply for jobs beyond the strict requirements. Find out how this bold approach can open up new opportunities and open the door to professional growth.


1-Talent and connections 

leveraging your talent and relationships is the key to success. Companies that recruit on the basis of talent rather than focusing solely on experience are more likely to find exceptional candidates. When writing your CV, focus on skills that go beyond specific job roles, highlighting your unique abilities. However, it's important to remember that when it comes to job hunting, contacts and relationships play an important role. Tap into your network, take every opportunity to expand it and use your connections to open doors at interviews. Even if you don't think you meet all the requirements, don't hesitate to put yourself forward and demonstrate your potential.


2- Using keywords to set yourself apart 

The strategic use of keywords can give you a competitive advantage, even if you don't meet all the criteria listed. Essentially, the person with the most keywords wins. By carefully examining job offers, you can seamlessly incorporate the language used into your CV, showing how your skills match their needs. That way, when your CV is examined by a human being, you will already have presented yourself as a perfect match for the job. If you meet at least 75% of the qualifications, don't hesitate to apply, but it's important to be discerning about the non-negotiables.

When applying online, remember that keywords are everything. To maximise your chances, try using a word cloud application with the job advert. This tool will highlight the most important terms. Then make sure your CV highlights your relevant experience by incorporating the specific keywords that match what the employer values most.


3- Growth opportunities 

Don't limit yourself to jobs that are a perfect match for your current skills, or you risk holding back your personal and professional development. Opportunities for development often lie in jobs that require you to learn and develop your skills. Whether it's mastering a specific technical skill, adapting to a new software or perfecting a soft skill that has remained unexploited, stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to significant growth.

What's more, taking on such roles not only promotes personal advancement, but also increases the likelihood of long-term commitment to the company. By continuing to develop and evolve over time, you become an invaluable asset to the organization. Recognizing this potential, some hiring managers actively seek out candidates who demonstrate the ability to develop within their roles.


4-    Employers seek capability and culture fit 

Employers aren't always looking for a perfect match when it comes to job descriptions. While job requirements may seem rigid on paper, there is often room for flexibility. When writing the job description, recruiters often have an ideal candidate in mind, but they are open to people who demonstrate a passion for the organisation and the ability to prove their skills in a tangible way.

In the start-up sector in particular, employers tend to be more flexible when it comes to certain 'requirements'. What really counts is your ability to show genuine enthusiasm for the organisation's mission and to demonstrate your expertise through a project or other impactful methods. By showcasing your unique skills and demonstrating your dedication to the organization's vision, you have the opportunity to present yourself as the most competent person.


If you believe you can do the job and are a good match, with the exception of one thing or another, you should absolutely put yourself out there. Discover YOUR perfect job on today. 

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