Here's an example of why you should apply for jobs you are
very interested in even if you think you are not qualified
and only have 2-3 key job qualifications.
When I first entered the personnel field I was shocked when Ann, our
permanent placement specialist, said one of my employees would be a
perfect match for her client - I felt the candidate was very not
qualified as she did not have several requirements the employer was
I read a page of job requirements and qualifications the employer had sent and
my candidate clearly was not qualified when her comparing
her background to the list - that's what I thought at the
The list of requirements was pretty overwhelming. A few of the skills
included typing of 80+ wpm; legal secretarial background; and
experience using WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3. I quickly went back and
reviewed an employee's application and resume to see if she really was
not qualified. She only typed 60 wpm and had worked in a legal
office as a receptionist but not as a legal secretary. While she had
WordPerfect experience she didn't have Lotus experience.
When I told Ann this and said I my candidate was not qualified, she
said, "Oh yeah, I know. But you can see how bright and bubbly she is.
My client is going to love her personality - this will overcome any of
areas that she's not qualified in. I know she'll fit right in with the
staff he already has. Once she's typing all the time her speed will go
up. She's had secretarial training which included legal terminology.
She can learn to be a legal secretary. I'm sure he'll hire her.
He won't look at her as not being qualified at all."
sure at all and felt that Ann was going to 'pull the wool' over her
client's eyes and convince him to hire someone who was not
qualified. I thought there was no way he would be interested in my
employee, especially since Ann was sending him another candidate with
all the hard skills and was very 'qualified.'
Surprisingly, he hired my candidate.
He liked her personality and felt she was very trainable. He and
several other staff members interviewed both of the applicants. The
person with all of the hard skills just didn't seem like a good fit to
them - and in their eyes was 'not qualified.'. Her personality was dry
and they felt she would want to have things done her way rather than
the firm's way.
On the other hand, they felt my employee had an excellent personality
because she was outgoing and eager to learn and this made her every
well qualified. I had been in personnel for only a month when this
happened and it opened my eyes as to what employers really look for
when reviewing cover letters and interviewing candidates.
When reviewing ads or job descriptions to write our cover letters, if
we only have say 30% to 50% of the skills being requested - most of us
feel like we're not qualified for the job. We assume employers
will only consider those candidates with all the hard skills they list.
However, it's most often a person's soft skills, personality and
willingness to learn that actually motivates employers to hire someone
and believe that person is qualified.
I recommend that apply for any position that you are interested in and
have some qualifications for - so don't skip sending cover letters to
job ads you initially think you are not qualified for - you may not
always get your foot in the door, but many times you will. You'll then
have a chance to sell yourself and your personality. If you do skip
over jobs you think you're not qualified for you will eliminate a huge
segment of the job market. If you're interested - apply!
are more cover letter snippets, cover letter tips and cover
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It is filled
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not qualified for the jobs they wanted - but wrote their
cover letters anyway - and landed good jobs.
The cover letter strategies in my book have been responsible
for helping clients raise their pay $2,000 to $80,000 more
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