I-d-Love-That-JobHave you ever seen a cool job posting and thought, “I’d love to do that job!” but tossed the ad aside without applying? You just didn’t think you were qualified? I would bet cold, hard cash – more than once.

I would encourage you to stop throwing away those job postings and GO FOR IT! Don’t worry if  you don’t have all the qualifications.

I can’t count how many times I have helped a hiring manager rewrite a job posting because – the ad listed so many skills – it scared off all the candidates. These rewrites required separating the qualifications into two categories:

  1. Required Qualifications – Skills needed to perform the essential functions of the job.
  2. Preferred Qualifications – Desires skills and traits that the manager and company believe would help the employee be more successful in the position.

It is a common mistake to lump everything together and see who bites. And, some companies really do need a jack-of-all-trades. But, most of the time…not so much. Keep this in mind the next time you see a listing that gets your heart pumping.


Use your resume and cover letter to highlight the relevant skills you do have. Then, add a few bonus attributes that would be an asset to the role. Include a couple of accomplishments from your current or previous employment. A thoughtful hiring manager will give your pro-active resume a second look and consider setting up an interview.

Once you are at the interview, it’s less about your resume and experience and more about how the manager and interviewers “see” you in the job and interacting with the team. I’m not saying skills and experience aren’t important anymore. I’m saying your personality, communication skills, and how you respond to answers can “sell” you in the interview.

I remember a woman who had little experience for an administrative position, but sent in a respectable entry-level resume with a positive toned cover letter. Then she called me up to check on the resume status. She was so positive and friendly over the phone, I thought, “What the hell”! I gave her that interview and she wowed us. We hired her on the spot and trained her for the position. She is still at that company doing an awesome job.

I’ll say it again. Apply for that job. You have nothing to lose. Even if you don’t get the job, you got more experience customizing your resume and cover letter.

– Heather McBride, SPHR
Resume Writer and Human Resources Professional
Oregon Resumes and Eugene Career Counselor