Most of the times, when you apply for a new job, it’s because you’re not satisfied with your current one and want more. More money, more responsibilities, more everything… Basically, you’re looking for a step up.
Problem is that hiring managers and recruiters are looking for people who are already doing the job, in the same kind of company, and who will accept to move for the same salary as they’re on, sometimes less. Are they crazy? If you wanted to do exactly the same, you would just stay where you are.
Companies struggle to see potential and look for off-the-shelves candidates they can just slot in the role. That’s why most jobs stay vacant for ages… Luckily for you, when companies start to get desperate they’ll compromise (don’t we all?) and consider transferable skills and experience.
How do you know they’re ready for you?
Look for jobs that have been advertised for a long time, re-advertised a few times, or even given to a recruitment agency (they’re so desperate they’re paying someone to find candidates). At this point, you’ve got a much better chance to be considered if you don’t tick all the boxes.
How can you show your potential?
That’s easy! Look at what skills and experience they’re asking for and split them into 3 groups:
- What you have – make sure you clearly list those on your CV and application, put them at the top and try to use the same wording as they used on their advert
- What you kind of have – those are your transferable skills and experience. Relate your own experience to what they’re asking for. For example, if they ask for ‘experience of managing a team’ and you haven’t got that, talk about about projects you were leading (technically you were managing a team to deliver the project) or people you coached/mentored (not really different to line managing)
- What you don’t have – if you really can’t relate anything to those skills don’t mention them in your CV but make it clear to the recruiter that you’re keen to learn (give example of other similar stuff you learned) and that you’re ticking all the other boxes. If most of the competencies they’re looking for fall into this category, you should really try to gain more experience in your current company or look for another job where the step isn’t that high.
Remember! You don’t have to do everything right now, you can also use your past experience to show you’ve got what it takes.
If you have or kind of have most of the things they’re looking for they’re likely to take you forward.
Don’t feel like a fraud!
If you’re selected for an interview it’s because you have shown that you have sufficient experience to do the job so be confident about yourself. If you’re not convinced you can do the job, how can you convince them?
When you prepare yourself for the interview, brush up on your examples (present or past) and be ready to explain how you’re gonna learn what you don’t already know.
A good mix of experience, transferable skills and motivation should do the trick.
Don’t accept a s*** offer!
If the company offers you a job it’s not because they’re nice, it’s because they want/need you. They’re not doing you a favour so don’t accept a low offer on the basis that you don’t have the right level of experience. Don’t forget that if they were able to find someone with the ‘right’ level of experience they wouldn’t be talking to you.
If it’s your dream job and you’re ready to consider a low offer then ask for an increase to a higher salary once you pass your probation. You’ll show them you can do it!
You’ll only get more from your career if you’re ready to take a risk and step up. Be confident and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough. It’s the best way to find a job you love.
Happy job hunting!