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EP 991 I offer your best way of being considered when you look at a job description and see you are underqualified for the job.

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There are times you are going to be looking at a job description and you know you don't fit. You know. You are not qualified. But you want to take a shot.

Most of the time, no strategy is going to work because firms are going to read between the lines and understand that you don't have the experience for the job. But there are ways to at least give yourself a chance and I want to outline a formula that you might consider.

I want to be clear.. .If this works 15% of the time . . . That's fabulous because if you send the same resume, you said out for every job to this job come up . . . Well, what you've done is waste your time, their time and you are not going to get interview anyway. So, if you really want to apply, this is what I want you to do.

First of all, I want your list all the skills that are required for the position and give yourself a rating on your strengths in these categories. And if you don't have experience in in one of the requirements for the job, moving out to a separate area. So, again, you are creating a list of the qualifications that you have and that you don't have and then, I want you to think in terms of transferable skills that might be appropriate. So, for example, if they are looking for someone to lead a group and you have, not done, it professionally, but you that in your volunteer life, you are going to include those, as well.

Next, what I want to do is connect with someone works within the firm using LinkedIn or some other means to try to get a sense of how accurate this job description might be. You can find out some of these people by connecting with me because I have a huge network. So, in my address is In This way, if you connect with me, very likely going to be connected with people and a lot different firms. And, if for some reason, I'm not connected with them, go to That's a search engine for all public LinkedIn profiles in the US. So it's US oriented, and it will give you all the public profiles of people on LinkedIn in the US. So you want to reach out to people at the firm to get a clearer picture of what they are looking for.

Then, I want you to write a cover letter . . . Actually, not a cover letter but use the body of your email in order to summarize your skills that fit the role. Talk about how long and how recently you've worked with and them, your transferable skills that might relate to some of the things that you may not have professional experience with but is relevant to what they're looking for. In this way, the idea is to to just give them something pre-chewed and pre-digested that demonstrates your potential fit for the role. Whether that's from volunteering, part-time, jobs graduate school, internships . . . whatever it is and then you tweak your resume a little bit because you want to love some of these functions that you performed to the top third or half of your resume so that if you are submitting it through an applicant tracking system that is looking for keywords, you're trying to make the resume . . . I don't want to say full the ATS but what you want to be doing is demonstrating to the ATS that you are a possible fit. So, if you list these things to late or you don't list them at all, the applicant tracking systems is going to reject you and you have just wasted a lot of time. This is your best shot; I hope you find it helpful; I hope it works for you some of the time some of the top today,


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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