In my last post, I discussed how to determine whether it's a lack of qualifications or confidence that's holding you back from applying for a position that sparked your interest. If you determine that it's a confidence issue or perhaps, that some of the qualifications you lack may be flexible, use these tips to land the job.
Land the Job Tip #1: Get a cheat sheet from an expert
When I applied for my first communications role, I knew I could do the job even though my ability wasn't quite reflected on my resume. I didn’t have all the background I needed, so I went straight to somebody who did.
With 20 years of experience in nonprofit communications, I knew my dad could brief me on the fundamentals. Armed with that information, I presented myself as confident and knowledgeable during my interview and got the job!
Doing your research goes a long way in letting interviewers know that you can learn what you don’t know.
Land the Job Tip #2: Be honest with your interviewer or recruiter
Approach the job with passion, but let the interviewer know what you're missing. Interviewers will be able to hone in on what you lack, so go ahead and get on the offensive. If you over-promise, you risk setting unrealistic expectations for your future employer, which will leave everyone unhappy. Instead, let your interviewer know that you have a plan for getting up to speed.
"Let your interviewer know that you have a plan for getting up to speed."
I recently worked with a client who applied for a management position without the degree listed in posting. We decided to confront the issue by creating a plan to learn the skills she lacked. We made a list of actions she would take each month to get up to speed. The interviewers were so impressed with the the plan that they offered her the position.
Land the Job Tip #3: Rewrite the story of your strengths
When I transitioned from teaching to the nonprofit world, I was terrified that hiring managers would see my lack of experience and think I was clueless. Instead, I found that many of my teaching skills were an asset. I was interested in positions that required a lot of the same skills I used in my classroom. With this in mind, I created a portfolio of my work and sent it to my interviewers. In the meeting, I used it to demonstrate how the skills I already possessed applied to the job I wanted.
"It may take practice to effectively showcase your transferrable skills in a way that’s authentic, but it’s a skill that can be learned and it's worth it!"
It may take practice to effectively showcase your transferrable skills in a way that’s authentic, but it’s a skill that can be learned and it's worth it!
The truth is, in going after something you want, you'll never truly know your limits until you test yourself.
About the Author: Amy Everhart is a certified coach who helps difference-makers find purposeful careers. She has led nonprofit programs that empower and inspire teachers and students to tell their stories through writing and has served as a recruiter and job placement specialist. Amy is passionate about coaching, storytelling, and the ripple effect women’s empowerment has on the world.