You’ve found a posting for a job you’d really like to pursue, but the post includes a clear list of required skills sets, at least one of which you don’t have. What should you do? Should you close the link and move on, or should you apply anyway, hope for the best, and see what happens? It’s not always wise—or necessary—to walk away from an opportunity just because you’re missing one or two credentials, but as you reach out to employers, take care not to waste anyone’s time, including your own. Keep these tips in mind.
What to Do If You Lack a Required Credential
1. How difficult will it be obtain the credential or training in question? If you need a law degree or EMT certification, closing the gap will take some time and investment. But if you need to know how to use PowerPoint, a few days of study and some time spent watching helpful YouTube videos can get you up to speed. If the credential falls into the second category, apply. As you complete your resume and cover letter, don’t state explicitly that you lack the skill.
2. Some resumes are scanned for keywords before they’re called up from a database and seen by a human reviewer. If you suspect your resume will face this fate, include a statement in your “skills” section that shows your intention to gain the skill in question. As in “Actively developing PowerPoint expertise.” This will give you a chance to mention the skill for the keyword scanners, and this extra bit of honesty won’t hurt you.
3. If you lack fifty percent (or more) of the required skills listed by the posting, move on to the next position on your list. But if you possess at least half of the credentials requested by the employers, give them an opportunity to review your resume. They worst they can do is pass you over, and most employers don’t expect all applicants to possess all the skills outlined by the posting anyway. Most of the time, hiring managers would rather not lose an excellent, talented employee over the difference between “three years of experience” and two and a half years of experience.
4. Regardless of the skills you may or may not lack, place all of the requested skills and credentials that you DO have at the top of your resume. Briefly list them in your summary section, and emphasize them in the body of the document.
Regardless of the gap between your skills and the requirements outlined by the posting, be prepared to discuss these skills if you’re invited in for an interview. For additional job search guidance and interview preparation tips, reach out to the Little Rock staffing and employment experts at CSS.