Answers to a common employment question. 

I have started to apply to a number of positions advertised in newspapers. Should I bother to apply if I do not have all the job requirements specified?

Mark Gambirasi

Managing Partner

Andiamo Group

Mark Gambirasi has been in recruitment for many years in the corporate, restaurant, and agency fields

In this candidate short market we are experiencing, yes, you should definitely apply to a job posting that you do not have all the qualifications for IF: you have at least 2 out of 5 of the requirements listed in the job posting; you fit within the compensation requirements listed in the ad (or on www.salary.com); you have a TRUE desire to perform the duties and responsibilities listed in the description; and if you apply, you state the reasons why you believe you will be a good fit for the position in a cover letter.

John A. Hohulin

Senior Recruiter

Bristlecone

John Hohulin has 20 years experience in Human Resources field including recruiting, spans sales, semiconductors, networking, technical training, and software, as well international experience.

Yes – if you are a reasonably close fit, apply. Most ads and postings describe the perfect candidate; not all requirements are must-haves. Some of them are nice-to-haves. Based on the position, it should be obvious which ones are non-negotiable requirements (such as specific technical knowledge/skills). Use your judgment; If you lack the essential knowledge and skill sets for the position and are clearly not qualified, don’t apply – you’re wasting everybody’s time, including your own.

Gary Sapiro

As a former corporate staffing manager I wholeheartedly advise you to apply for any position where you meet most of the stated qualifications, but not necessarily each an every one. Recruiters and hiring managers frequently create "wish lists" in profiling the ideal candidate. As such some of these perceived requirements may in fact be nice to have but not need to have with respect to education, functional skills, and even years of managerial experience. Communicate the relevance of your experience, assume a go-for-it attitude and see what happens!

Ron Visconti

Managing Partner

Peninsula Employment Group, LLC.

Ron Visconti has assisted jobs seekers and career changers through recruitment events, career transition projects, career counseling, and workshops. Founded and ran non-profit career center.

You have to approach the question from several perspectives. Are you really qualified to do the job? Do you have adequate experience and training to do this job? If you feel, you can to the core of the job well, I would say go ahead. Often times, companies outline a laundry list of skills / experiences they desire from the ideal candidate. The list of requirements could be very specific in nature. And many times, they do not have candidates that fit that exact, ideal match. On the other hand, job candidates who apply to jobs that do not meet the minimum requirements should not apply. This matching process is a starting point for looking at candidates and skills sets that are appropriate for that particular job.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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