3 Steps to Applying for a Job When You Don't Meet the Requirements

Are you ready for one of the best-kept secrets of the job search process? Unless the person doing the hiring has previously worked in the exact role he’s trying to fill, a fair amount of the job description is guesswork. 

Think about it: Hiring managers have to write a description that will simultaneously entice people to apply and ward off those who wouldn’t qualify for an interview. Also, haven’t you heard stories of a person who “met all of the qualifications” being passed over in the final stages for someone who “seemed like a better fit?” Probably so—because a company would much rather hire the candidate with two years of experience who seems like she could hit the ground running than someone with the requisite five years who failed to demonstrate strong communication skills.

So what’s a job seeker who doesn’t quite meet all the requirements in a position description to do? How can you tell the non-negotiable requirements from the ones you could compensate for with your other awesome skills? And—more importantly—how do you broach the subject in your cover letter?

Read on for your three-step plan.

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