The job search process can be discouraging but the reality is that even the most experienced job-seekers can feel that they lack the right experience for the job they want. It’s important during this time to embrace your experience and find the right way to improve upon our existing skills to increase our chances of landing your dream job.
Before you submit your resume, there are a few things you can do to heighten your chances of reaching an interview, even if you aren’t completely qualified for the position.
Emphasise your transferable skills
You might not have the right employment history or relevant working experience for the job you want to apply for, but you more than likely have the skills for it. Typically, employers look for the same universal skill-sets (including communication, interpersonal, teamwork, and leadership) when hiring, so it’s a great idea to scrutinise the job ad and check out what specific skills they’re looking for.
Now that society has become more integrated and reliant on technology and social media, think about exploiting these skills, too. If you have experience running a Facebook page, have dabbled with blogging in the past, or can use Photoshop, highlight these skills in your cover letter and resume.
If you’re applying for a marketing job in an agency, for example, instead of feeling discouraged by statements like “must have past experience in an agency setting”, talk-up your experience in creating marketing strategies or your ability to follow client briefs. The trick is to highlight the individual skills you have that will help you succeed in the position you’re applying for.
Learn new skills
Learning new skills is a fantastic way to tackle feeling under-qualified in a job search as it will help to ‘chunk out’ your resume and equip you with up-to-date skills relevant to what employers are looking for.
Learning new skills also demonstrates to employers your willingness to learn. You can then use this in your cover letter or resume to highlight the fact that you’ve gone back to study to improve and excel in a specific area relevant to the jobs you’re applying for.
Seek employers who are willing to train their employees
Try typing in ‘no experience’ when entering your job search criteria on a job search website – this will show you several job opportunities where employers are willing to train applicants without experience. If you’re looking for job opportunities through your local paper, have a glance for any ads that highlight ‘no experience necessary’ or show a willingness to train ‘the right candidate’. These opportunities give you a higher chance of gaining employment despite being under-qualified.
Check with your local support groups or recruitment agencies to find out if there are any companies that have a good reputation for training employees. Don’t be afraid to state in your cover letter that you’re open to training in the areas you need improvement in. Show that you’re a masterful learner and you’re open to learning and growing within the right company that can help to foster that. Not only will they be flattered, but they’ll also see your motivation for getting the job.
Find the right way to frame your experience
If you have major gaps in your working experience, or your job history doesn’t reflect the necessary experience for the job you’re applying for, then think about crafting a chrono-functional resume. This type of resume format emphasises skills over working experience and job history.
Other ways you can fill in the gaps is by listing any unpaid or volunteer work you’ve done in the past, along with any hobbies or activities you do that demonstrate specific transferable skills. If you have reliable references, be sure to prepare a list ahead of your job application and have them provide a glowing review of you and your past performance. This will help you to stand out despite being under-qualified for the job.
Enlist the help of a professional job-assist service
Ability Options provides job seekers with several employment options to help you land your dream job. One of these includes the WorkReady program. WorkReady equips you with the skills, knowledge, and real-world experience to re-enter the workforce or to further your training. Our WorkReady team will help you tackle being under-qualified for a job by:
- Helping you create a resume and cover letter.
- Improving your job application and job seeking skills.
- Communicating to an employer.
- Teaching you how to market yourself.
- Setting employer and employee expectations.
- Offering guidance on work ethics and behaviours at work.
- Providing career counselling and guidance.
- Helping you with career planning.
- Offering assistance to manage stress and anxiety.
- Providing you with confidence building strategies.
We’ll also connect you to work with our extensive network of employers to guarantee work experience in a workplace that matches your interests and employment goals. For graduates and people with disability who are commencing or have completed TAFE or university, we offer mentoring and orientation to support your transition from study to work. Enquire now about our SLES and FaKJ services.