I talked with two clients recently who were hired to dream jobs. In both cases, the client hesitated before applying for the position. Steve wanted a position in Europe. However, his heart dropped when he saw the requirements: MBA and second language. Steve had a BA and only spoke English. Then he read the position again and felt that no one could be more qualified based on his experience and achievements. He took a chance and was rewarded with his dream job. Mary works in human services as a counselor. She's performed managerial duties, but never held the title of manager. We wrote her resume to emphasize her roles that required leadership and decision making. Again, Mary didn't think she'd get the job. She applied, went through four interviews, and received an offer. If you think you capable of doing a job, don't be afraid to apply. The trick to getting the job is to show how you are qualified. You need to do this in your resume and during interviews. Employers will look beyond their requirements if you show them why you're the right person. Don't be afraid to the chance. That's the only way to find your dream job.
What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles remains one of – if not the best – guides to the job search. Bolles uses illustrations to underscore his advice. My favorite graphic is a three line description of the job search. It lists two ten word rows of “no.” The next row has “no” nine more times followed by one word: “YES.”
This illustration, like most of Bolles’ advice, is brutally realistic. Almost every job search is filled with rejection. To be successful, you have to be tough and persistent. You have to give yourself every opportunity. That’s where many people sabotage their job search: They disqualify themselves before prospective employers have a chance to evaluate them.
How does this happen? Too many people look at the list of requirements in a job posting and fail to send in an application unless they fill almost every requirement. Employers generally list more requirements than they expect any one candidate to have. This behavior has increased in a time of high unemployment when candidates with multiple skills are available.
Be realistic. Look at the job posting and compare it to your qualifications. Don’t expect to fill every requirement. If you can perform the key job functions, apply for the job. Give yourself the opportunity to land an interview. In the end, you don’t know what the employer is looking for.
Don’t disqualify yourself. If you think you are qualified for a job, apply for it. Let someone else tell you “no” – or, better still, let them say, “YES.”