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Job description too tough? Send in that application anyway!

Many times the descriptions for jobs you're interested in ask for qualifications you may not have. However, according to a recent post from the authors at Vault Career Insider, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't apply anyway. Often, employers will use very strong language in "requiring" applicants to have certain skills and experiences. That doesn't mean that your skills and experiences won't work as well. You have to keep in mind that a lot of expertise can be learned on the job and that employers are more interested in if the person can learn those skills after they've been hired. So even if the description asks that you know a specific software program, or asks for a specific number of years experience, doesn't mean that it will exclude you from consideration. I often talk about how you can use your resume and cover letter to explain how, even though you may not have all of the qualifications, you have enough skills and abilities to make you a great candidate anyway. It's this marketing and salesmanship which can convince an employer that you may very well be the best fit for the position.

Just keep in mind that you DO NOT want to make any outrageous claims that you cannot back up during the interview process. Saying you have experience with computer programming languages is one thing. Saying that you're an expert at C++ when you only used it for one project in class will not end well. So don't be scared off when you read the dreaded "Must Have 3-5 years experience" line. If you're qualified, apply anyway. Just make sure you provide a good reason to back it up.

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