You are ready for the next step in your career path. You have been searching for ideal job roles that match your passions, interests, and work culture. However, you are concerned that the job descriptions of your ideal job include a level of experience, education, or skills you don’t currently have. How can you position yourself to be considered for roles when you are short on the requirements?
Keep in mind that the job descriptions include “ideal” candidate education, work experience, and personal characteristics that give the employer the best chance of a successful hire that maximizes their ROI for the job role. Each role generally has the true “must haves” and a group of “preferred” characteristics. For the “must haves”, employers generally want candidates to have all or most of those stated skills and experiences. Candidates with exceptional, proven performance records are given the most latitude to be short on one or two of the “must haves”. Most candidates who are hired have translatable experiences that suggest they can make up “must haves” shortcomings based on past related accomplishments.
What if you lack the translatable experience or skills needed to overcome your shortcomings versus the job requirements?
- Request more responsibility from your current employer or volunteer to manage a work project that could showcase leadership, organizational skills, problem solving, and communication skills. These are skills that all employers desire in their mid-level managers through c-suite.
- Pursue leadership roles outside of work in the many charity and non-profit organizations that often need leaders to drive projects and achieve objectives. Then use those accomplishments to build your story of how you convinced others to join the cause (leadership and sales), worked with and gained cooperation from all types of people of different backgrounds and experiences (situational leadership), overcame difficult challenges (problem solving), and reached goals within deadlines (focus and results achievement).
- Learn from interviews when you were not selected. Ask for feedback and what added experience or skills were needed plus other insights on how you could be considered in the future.
- You may need to adjust your career path goals to an interim position that provides certain experience and skills for a period before applying for your ideal job.
- If the limiting factor appears to be a degree or certification, you have more options than ever to accomplish those qualifications online while you continue to work.
How can you get an interview or be considered for a job role when your resume lacks the required “must haves”? Address the shortcomings in the following areas:
- Cover Letter – Highlight specific, translatable experiences and accomplishments.
- Resume – Use specific, measurable accomplishments.
- Interview – Prepare answers ahead that showcase the translatable knowledge and skills that will convince the employer you can deliver the ROI they need.
Every CEO and c-suite executive was selected for an advanced role in their career before they had all the “must haves” of certain roles in their career path. Part of their success was looking forward to their ideal job roles, comparing the needs of the roles versus their current skills and experiences, and seeking opportunities to build and tell their success story. With your own career path plan, you can do the same. Contact the career consultants at Career 1 Source to get started.