Resume Writing, Career Advice and Job Search blog from ResumeWriting.com.
Sometimes a client will come to us and want to apply for a job they’re not qualified for. This is always a challenging situation. There’s only so much rewording or outside experiences we can draw on to suggest that the candidate should be considered, despite their obvious under-qualifications.
Often times in such cases, the job seeker will insist they can do the job… they just need to be given the opportunity to prove themselves. It’s the classic job search catch 22: how can you convince the hiring manager to take a chance on you when it’s clear you don’t quite have the experience?
Well, there is one old-school career-coach/resume-writer trick that a colleague turned me onto years ago. It’s really simple and it’s something you could try if you find yourself in this situation. I’ve been able to employ this little strategy numerous times over the years on behalf of clients that were maybe a bit unqualified for the jobs they wanted. And more often than not, it’s worked.
It’s all a matter of timing…
If you see a job you want, but you think you’re slightly unqualified… DO NOT be the first person to apply for the job.
If you can, wait a week or two after the job is posted and then send your resume in. In fact, in the best case scenario, the job opening in question posts a closing date. If that is the case, send your resume in a couple of days before the job opening closes.
Why do this?
It’s simple. If perfectly good, perfectly qualified candidates do apply, then your resume will probably just be looked over in favor of theirs.
But if you wait a while, maybe after some other candidates have been interviewed, then you’re playing the odds that the hiring manager hasn’t found anyone they like yet. If the hiring manager has interviewed several people and none of them worked out, then maybe (just maybe) they’ll be willing to take a chance on you… despite your seeming slightly unqualified.
In short, if you’re unqualified for the job, wait a while before applying, and gamble that as the hiring manager grows desperate to fill the position, they’ll be willing to take a gamble on you.
Sure, this strategy risks applying too late in some cases. But hey, you already knew you were unqualified, right? So that resume you were going to send in first thing was probably going to be passed over anyway. By applying later for a job you’re not qualified for, you’re not competing with resumes of the more qualified. You’re competing with “something or nothing” and so your eagerness and willingness to do the job might end up looking a lot better than nothing!