Friday, October 23, 2009

How to Get Hired If You're Underqualified

4. Be likable. This is always important in a job search, and it's especially so when your qualifications alone aren't going to rocket you to the top of the pile. This means be friendly, not pushy or overbearing, and genuinely interested in the job, the organization, and your interviewer. Make it easy for us to want to help you.

5. From the cover letter on through the interview process, really paint a picture of things you've done well in past jobs (including volunteer jobs, if the reason you're under-qualified is because you're a recent grad or stay-at-home parent with little work experience). I recently interviewed a candidate with no direct experience in our line of work. However, she had worked as an assistant to a high-profile local personality, and it was clear she had juggled an enormous workload, stayed highly organized, and been generally indispensable in making his life run smoothly. I love those skills, and they can rarely be taught. So I don't care that she's never worked with the databases her potential position would require; I know enough about her now to know she'll pick it up quickly.

Remember: Job ads are wish lists. Don't be deterred if you're not a perfect match

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