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How to Get an Interview for the Job You Want Without Experience

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

How you ever been interested in a job and thought to yourself, I'm not fully qualified?

Lately many job ads have listed some astronomical qualifications that you know simply is beyond the years of experience, they are asking. I'm not quite sure what's going through the minds of many hiring managers but for some reason, they continue to do it. Many of the requirements let's say it together are, "unrealistic". But with these job ads comes the many contradictory opinions on whether you should apply for a role if you don't meet all the qualifications or that you should only apply to roles where you meet 100% of the qualifications. Keep in mind this is all on paper because in reality there is hardly ever going to be one person that will know how to do everything that's required within that role as business needs change and tools transition. Many job descriptions lack the full context of the role and sometimes, don't provide an absolute picture of what you'll really be doing.


Like how many times, you've taken a role to find out later that the responsibilities changed?


Each company, hiring managers and recruiters have different guidelines in place on how they select the candidates for interviews. Hiring managers typically have their ideal candidate, there is nothing wrong with this as long as the process is fair and without bias. Minds, perceptions and realities can always change within an individual, so keep that in mind. But, if you see a job that you are interested in and you want to give yourself a shot then you should as you only miss 100% of the shots, you didn't take. So how do I get a chance at an interview?


1. Determine if it's the right job


Some job descriptions can be a bit intimidating because it'll list so much that often times can be difficult to comprehend. I've seen some job descriptions so wordy that it's like reading a book to the point where you are asking yourself, "Now what is this about again?" but even if so, still give yourself the chance of at least trying as you never know what will happen. Now when you are considering on applying, you need to be realistic on what qualifications you have against the job description, years of experience, education (experience can supplement, if not firm) and if there are some skills that you have that are remotely close to what's listed. I don't recommend applying for a job where you meet no qualifications unless it's an internship or entry level position that's seeking candidates with 0-2 years of experience. There two types of qualifications typically listed: required and preferred. Often times, applicants will meet some required and some preferred. I would encourage you to laser in on the preferred qualifications as sometimes, they can provide a leverage especially, if they want someone with a specific certification, industry experience or software utilization.


2. Understand the role


It's important to know what you are getting yourself into before you get into it especially, if you are looking to transition into a new industry or pivoting careers. Right now, there's this movement of more people wanting to work in the technology industry, but many don't realize that working in tech is more than the product and salary as technology is evolving and what's new today may not be new tomorrow, so you have to always be on a continuous learning path. With this, you need to do a bit of research and that could come in the form of reading company reviews paying close attention to the reviews with similar job titles on sites such as Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com Careerbliss.com. Find individuals either within your organization or on LinkedIn.com to conduct informational interviews. You want to know more than just what the person does on a day-to-day but what are some of the biggest challenges they face in that role to include promotion opportunities.


3. Target your Resume


Now that you've determined you want to apply, checked over your qualifications against the job description and have a grasp of the role now it's time to craft your resume. What you want to do now is emphasize how your current experience is relevant to the job. Even if you don't have exact experience, you have to highlight your transferable skills. For example, if you are applying for a project management role but you've never worked PM before some of the most common skills that are required are: communication, time management and teamwork. These three skills are something we all have had to showcase in any job we've held. Depending on the previous role you've held, you can translate "time management" into a bullet such as: Effectively managed office tasks by tracking inputs and managing deadlines using Microsoft Excel (applicable tool). Sometimes, we have relatable experiences, we just don't know how to properly convey it.


In the end, you want to always remain truthful with your talents and skills, don't underestimate your potential, focus less on what you don't know but more on what you do as all can be taught, Upskill, if need be, to fill in any gaps and leverage your network.

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