Why You Might Be More Qualified for That Job Than You Think

by Susan Mullin

more qualified

Most recruiters will tell you that you shouldn’t apply for advertising jobs in Washington, DC for which you are not qualified. This is generally true. It makes little sense, for example, to apply for a job as a CMO when you’re only in the third year of your marketing career. However, that doesn’t mean you should necessarily write off a job if you don’t quite meet all the qualifications. In fact, if you’re on the fence, it might just pay to take the leap and apply.

You Never Know Exactly What Hiring Managers Are Looking For

Yes, job postings do have a list of requirements. However, if you’re just missing one or two requirements, you’re not necessarily out of the running. You never know exactly what a hiring manager’s priorities are. They may be willing to overlook two years of missing experience if you’ve worked in their industry your entire career. They might be willing to overlook a missing technical skill if you can demonstrate you learn quickly and are a whiz with software apps. Don’t assume you know a hiring manager’s priorities. Just be ready to address your potential gaps during your interview.

There Is No Substitute for Passion

Hiring managers will take an employee who is missing a requirement or two but has a genuine passion for marketing over a candidate who checks off every box on their list, but really doesn’t enjoy doing the work. There are ways to teach skills; however, there is no way to teach someone to be passionate. Passionate people tend to try harder, work harder, and are more open to new ideas than people who lack passion. If you are a genuine “marketing nerd” who reads books about marketing, listens to marketing podcasts, and can be found chatting about marketing at parties, let that passion show in your cover letter and during your interviews.

If You’re Adaptable, You’re Desirable

Adaptability is another important trait that hiring managers are looking for, and like passion, it’s not something that can be taught. In marketing, you have to be able to adapt quickly to all sorts of changes, and it’s less important you have an expert-level prowess with Salesforce marketing platforms than it is you have the ability to learn as you go and adapt to change quickly. If you think you’re not perfectly qualified, but you can demonstrate you are adaptable, you can position yourself as a desirable candidate for a role.

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