Why You Should Apply For Jobs You're Not Qualified For

The process is all about highlighting your skills, showing your unique value add, and truly emphasizing all that you bring to the table.

Why You Should Apply For Jobs You're Not Qualified For

Should I apply for a job I'm not qualified for?

Yes, you most definitely should. Applying for jobs is more of an art than it is a science. The process is all about highlighting your skills, showing your unique value add, and truly emphasizing all that you bring to the table. While, yes, some of these companies do require you to have certain skills and experiences, don’t let daunting requirements scare you out of a potentially perfect role. Don’t dwell on what you don’t have to offer, focus all your attention on highlighting what you do have and all that you’re capable of acquiring.

Self promotion is an essential part of career development. Based on data accumulated by job search engine Adzuna's resume service, ValueMyResume, women "diminish their talents and abilities by perpetually omitting valuable information about their core skills, and fail to acknowledge key achievements."

Data from Adzuna’s resume service also showed that women only submit 31% of resumes to its website, while men submit 69%. Similarly, women don’t promote soft skills like time-management and leadership and tend to leave out significant professional achievements.

A LinkedIn study found that women are also more selective about the jobs they apply for than men. The study discovered that men and women displayed similar habits when browsing for jobs, but women were 14% less likely to apply for a job after viewing.

Whether you’re simply underselling your abilities or are just not 100% qualified, there’s no harm in submitting the application. At this point, you have absolutely nothing to lose.

Traditional job search aside, when you’re looking for a climate job you have to remember that this isn’t your typical job search. I encourage you to flip your perspective. In the climate space, this is more than a job search, this is our future. People in the ClimateTech industry want to help. We’re all working towards the same greater cause and the more hands we have on deck, the greater impact we can make.

Let me tell you a little about my personal journey to find a role in climate. My name is Natalie and I’m a Full-Stack Marketer for Climate People. Climate People is a sustainable, equitable, and inclusive ClimateTech recruitment firm. I have a liberal arts background with a specialization in marketing, journalism, and communications. I’ve always been extremely environmentally aware in my personal life, but never thought that there was a space for my skill sets in the climate arena professionally. I have since learned from Rewiring America that an aggressive national commitment to electrify all aspects of our economy would create up to 25 million good-paying American jobs over the next 15 years.

After learning that there were in fact roles within my profession in the climate space, I started my job search. I knew I wanted to be involved, but couldn’t find a job that ‘perfectly’ lined up with my experience. Long story short, I applied for a recruiting role with absolutely no recruiting experience just for the opportunity to spark a conversation. My boss was interested in hiring someone like me, but didn't have a job description posted and our conversation spurred him to act. He and I worked together to create my current role as a Full-Stack Marketer.

My personal anecdote shows the true value of networking and having these important conversations. It’s extremely difficult to show your true colors over a resume or a cover letter. It’s essential to do whatever you can to have these one-on-one conversations. The majority of jobs are not publicly advertised, 80% of all jobs filled aren’t published, they spur from conversations similar to mine.

Similarly, this same line of logic works for recruiters and hiring managers as well. If you’re presented with a quality candidate who doesn’t have all of the experience buckets checked but truly exemplifies your company’s core values and seems like a good culture fit, take the risk. Oftentimes having conversations with passionate and smart candidates can inspire future roles down the line.

Even if the conversation doesn’t spark a position or land you a job immediately, the value and insight gained often far outweighs the loss of 30 minutes on your calendar.

It has been proven time and time again that networking is a crucial element to the job search. LinkedIn reports:

  • 80% of professionals consider professional networking to be important to career success.
  • 35% of surveyed professionals say that a casual conversation on LinkedIn has led to a new opportunity.
  • 61% of professionals agree that regular online interaction with their professional network can lead the way into possible job opportunities.

If you’re still too nervous to apply directly for the posted role, you can instead submit a speculative application to the company. Acknowledge that you understand that the position requires more experience, however, state that you’re still interested and explain the value that you can bring. Again, I want to reiterate the “art” of job applications, selling yourself in an eye-catching manner can move mountains. Try to find that common connection and act on it.

We always encourage you to directly message the hiring manager or recruiter and be inquisitive. Ask them if you could hop on the phone to ask a few questions and learn more about the position.

So there you have it, recruiting and industry professionals preach it and the data supports it — apply for that job! What do you have to lose?

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