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Feeling Under-Qualified? 4 Helpful Tips

Some job descriptions can be a little daunting and make you feel as though you are under-qualified, even when you’re not. It’s important not to let them scare you off and instead to embrace your skills and experiences by reading between the lines. Some employers don’t know exactly what they are looking for and by applying for that role you may just help them realise that you’re the ideal candidate! 


The job requirements might state that ‘previous experience in this role is desirable’ or something along those lines. Why not set up your own business and gain experience this way. It will look extremely impressive that you built a brand, built a client base and managed a business. You may end up ticking more boxes than you need to, suddenly becoming “over-qualified.”

Try to gain some recommendations and feedback from the people you worked with, create a portfolio or a website. Although you may not have made the most money from this, the overall experience will be precious. If you can run a successful freelancing business, I’m sure you’ll be an asset to their company.

Sell Yourself

Selling yourself is an art in itself and it’ll definitely impress the employer. You need to properly analyse all of your different skills and past experiences and make sure you are making the most out of them all. You might be afraid that you are being too biased but you need to remember that your CV is your time to shine and to gather all of your relevant experience and achievements and really show yourself off.

Try to think outside of the box when it comes to CV’s and cover letters, make yours stand out. Think of the recruiter or employer, working their way through millions of identically structured CV’s and cover letters and then they see yours, completely unique and personalised. It will be a breath of fresh air to read and will potentially encourage them to pick you out of the crowd.

Work Unpaid

This is something that we are always recommending. Voluntary work looks amazing on your CV and often gives you a good idea about the role and what you should expect from it. Although you may find it difficult financially to complete something voluntarily, it’ll all pay off in the long run. Why not try booking a couple of weeks off your current job and complete some work experience during this time? This way, you’ll (hopefully) get paid holiday pay whilst gaining vital experience.

If you applied for the job regardless of whether you were fully qualified and you, unfortunately, didn’t get the job. Why not ask to work unpaid for them? Show them that you love the company, you are eager to work there and you want to gain the experience that they desired. You never know, they may just offer you a job.

Go For It

It’s important to consider that the listed experience or qualifications are “Desirable” or “Preferred” and therefore, not always “Essential”. You may be just short of one minor qualification, don’t let this scare you off. Apply for the job and see what happens, they may find other experience that you have as even more desirable and make an exception for you. If you don’t try, you don’t get.

What we are not saying is to apply for something if you aren’t anywhere near qualified, not only are you wasting the employers time but you are wasting your own. The rejection can cause you to lose confidence and you may find it difficult to apply for jobs in the future.

Don’t give up on your job search; try changing what it is that you are looking for. Try slightly different wording or a different job level. You may stumble across a perfect role for yourself; a role that you know you will be confident and comfortable applying for.

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