You have probably, at some point in your life, stumbled upon a position you thought you’d be perfect for, but you didn’t have the exact experience the posting describes, or you had no experience at all.
Did you simply move on? Or applied anyway and hoped the recruiter will see some potential in you? According to career expert Amanda Augustine, people have the tendency to do the latter — but only if they’re ready to sell yourself.
Below, we’ve put together 3 tips for selling yourself to a potential employer, even if you don’t have all of the qualifications they’re looking for:
1. Take charge of building your skills
During your job search try to put together about five job descriptions that represent the position you desire the most. Even if you don’t necessarily apply to every position, putting those descriptions side-by-side gives you a clearer idea of the most-searched-for skills by employers for this particular position.
If you seem to be lacking some of the skills— try taking a quick online course! The idea behind is not to try and become an expert in something, but rather to demonstrate the determination of acquiring those skills and some working knowledge of the skills the employers are looking for.
And if you plan on taking this advice and you want some online course suggestions — we have dedicated a whole article about it to help you!
2. Use your experiences to the max
If you have recently graduated from high school or college, you have most likely encountered jobs that require three to five years of experience, which can be frustrating. But don’t panic. What you need to do is compile a list of everything you have done during your education that helped you build the skills that make you attractive to employers.
This includes internships, volunteer experiences, and local organizations that you were part of, as well as classes that required you to work on a big research project. In this case, you have to emphasize the skills and accomplishments employers are looking for and play down the things they are not.
3. Use your personal network
Sometimes it can take suggestions and advice from those around you to open your eyes (and your mind) and help you opt for opportunities you may not have considered for yourself.
Use your personal contacts to your benefit. A recommendation made by someone in your network who can attest to your skills may just lead to an employment offer.
It’s also important to note that you are 10 times more likely to land a job when you have a relationship with someone at the company. So, in addition to playing up on your best skills and experiences, you could lean on your family, friends, and alumni network to see if there is anyone at a particular organization or in your field who can guide you or help you with landing the job.