It’s an all-too-common scenario and daily task for recruiters: letting a candidate know their job application wasn’t successful, due to not meeting all the briefed requirements. Not the best part of our job, that’s for sure.
Job requirements in terms of skills and experience are often set by our client for a reason, and despite our best intentions to provide candidate options who show promise in cultural fit, meet the majority of qualifications but perhaps come from adjacent industries, sometimes it’s beyond our control who progresses through.
But that’s not to say that’s where it ends for your job search.
Whilst we can’t help if your experience and skills are worlds away from the role requirements, here’s our tips for landing an interview when you know you’re the right fit, but need to work on the requirement checklist.
This is often overlooked when you’re in job search mode, as it’s now easier than ever to apply online with the click of a button. But if it’s a job you know you want, why wouldn’t you put your best foot forward first?
Contacting the recruiter allows you to flesh out the ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’ requirements of the role, ask further questions about the role, and ultimately make an impression.
TIP: If you are applying online, be sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and presenting your best self. Read our tips here.
Despite the checklist, most companies would rather hire someone who has key transferable skills and is a good cultural fit, over someone who meets every requirement on the list.
While some jobs may have more specific requirements than others, so much of being able to successfully progress in your career comes down to being able to strategically connect the dots from where you have been to where you would like to be.
Rather than seeing a list of requirements as a road block, use it to your advantage by picking out the keywords and using them wherever possible, making sure they align with what they care about the most.
If you meet at least some qualifications and are genuinely excited about the position and confident that you would be a good choice, convey that enthusiasm in your cover letter. Draw the reader’s attention to your qualifications and highlight other strengths that make you worthy of consideration. How would you contribute in a unique and positive way? What are some examples of results you’ve achieved in similar roles? Taking the time to personalize the cover letter can really pay off.
Our last tip? Don’t give up. If you weren’t successful, ask just as many questions of your recruiter at the end of the process to find out why you weren’t suitable for the role, and their suggestions for what you can do differently next time, and know that we’ll keep our ears to the ground to help you find the role you’re after.