There’s nothing like finding a job listing, realizing it’s the perfect fit for you, only to scroll down and see those words every job seeker dreads: “three to five years’ experience required.”
That single phrase can be a huge roadblock preventing someone from filling out an application when it shouldn’t be a deterrent. Some job qualifications are non-negotiable, while others are flexible.
When you read a list of qualifications for a job application, those are what employers have on their “wish list” and often job seekers don’t need to fill every item on that list.
Jonathan Duncan is an employment coach with Agilec in Barrie and suggests people move forward with their application, even if they don’t meet the “three to five years’ experience” suggested in some job applications.
“If you meet every piece of criteria but you only have one to two years’ experience, apply,” Duncan said. “You don’t have to tick every box to apply. Some sectors may be a hard and fast rule, but if you have most of the experience, then go for it.”
In an ideal scenario, employers would love every applicant to check every item off on their wish list, but the reality is some may have related experience, others may have the right training, but it’s difficult to find someone with everything on their resume.
Another factor at play is you never know what the talent pool is like for the job you’re applying for. Even though a position may ask for five years of experience, your three years of experience may be the most among the field of candidates.
Even if your experience or training isn’t what’s listed in the application, employers can usually tell right away by the application or through a job interview if they’d be a good fit for the position. Often they’re willing to overlook certain categories if a candidate fits the culture and values of the team.
Applying for a position like this also comes with a few benefits for the job seeker as well. Even if they don’t land the job, they’re suddenly on the radar of the employer the next time another position comes around.
Through an interview, candidates can also discern which aspects of the application are most important to the employer. The job seeker can then work at building up their resume with more training and experience for the next go-around.
“Employers sometimes see the same people applying and employers see that determination that they want the job,” Duncan said. “If you think you’d like to do it, you have some of the criteria, then go ahead and apply. Maybe you don’t hear back, or you get an interview and don’t get the job, but they remember you the next time you apply.”
Ultimately, it never hurts to put your hat in the ring for a job, even if you feel you may not be 100 per cent qualified for the job. If you meet most of the requirements, you’re the right person, and you’re eager to learn, many employers will work with you to grow your career.
Taking the first step to land that new position is the most crucial one. Talk to an Agilec job coach in Barrie for help with building a resume and sharpening your interview skills. Find out more at Agilec.ca.