Employers are increasingly demanding with regards to the skills of administrative employees. However, it is quite rare for a candidate to have all the requirements. Here are some tips of what to emphasize when you decide to apply without having all the qualifications.
Zaïda B. Mangones, employability consultant at the Club de recherche d’emploi de Montréal Centre-Ville (CREMCV), advises that one of the first questions to ask is: “Could I be effective in this job and carry out the tasks within a reasonable time to meet the employer’s expectations?”
If the answer is yes, there is no need to deprive yourself of applying for the position. According to the consultant, it is normal to not have all the qualifications for a position, especially as the job market has become much more complex in the last 20 years.
Here are three ways to stand out when you apply without having all the qualifications
1. Build on your “transferable” skills
In the CV and at the interview, showcase transferable skills, sometimes called soft skills. This type of skill is important and useful in all companies and industries. “These are the human skills that relate to self-knowledge and not know-how: management ability, analytical thinking, teamwork, adaptability, learning ability…,” explains the consultant.
2. Demonstrate your adaptability and willingness to learn
That said, Zaïda B. Mangones reminds us that transferable skills are not all on the same level. “In the past, the ability to work in a team was the skill most sought after by employers… Today, with the complexity of the working world, it’s the readiness to learn and the ability to adapt quickly that are becoming essential.”
In preparation for the interview, the consultant suggests identifying previous situations where you have demonstrated an ability to learn and to quickly adapt, whether in a work or study context.
3. Identify your added value
When possible, a candidate has every interest to identify and promote the “differentiating” element of his or her career. What is unique in the eyes of the employer?
“We want to make the employer dream here,” explains Zaïda B. Mangones. “Yes, I don’t exactly meet the profile you are seeking… but here is what I can bring to the company.”
To make this demonstration, you can draw as much on your self-knowledge (do you have a personality that fits well with the profile of the team in place?) as on your know-how (what is the knowledge that can serve the company’s mission?).
By playing with these few assets, a candidate may well succeed in enticing the recruiter, even if he does not quite look the part.