Have you ever seen a job posting you really wanted, but for which you may not be entirely qualified? The truth is that many employers are looking for qualified people whom they personally like and get along with. Don't underestimate the power of emotional connections alongside qualifications. People hire people, not resumes!
Tailor your resume
Think creatively about how the experience you have relates to the job you want. Bullet aspects of your previous jobs relevant to the position you seek.
Get an interview
Prepare for the interview. Being prepared is more important than job knowledge, skills and experience. The hardest part of getting a job for which you may not be the most technically qualified applicant is getting an interview. Conduct yourself professionally.
Be confident. Focus on why you honestly believe you would be good at this particular job. Make a list of reasons beforehand. If you have confidence in yourself, you are more likely to convince the employer of your ability. Be up-beat. A positive attitude will show the interviewer you are a can-do person.
Be likable. We all want to hire and work with people we like. Smile. When there are two or more candidates competing for the same position, more often than not the hiring will be based on chemistry and less on experience. Ensure that you smile often throughout the interview and laugh where ever appropriate. A positive attitude demonstrated with smiles goes a long way to sending the signal that you have what it takes to become a team player.
Be informed. Know about the company and the business before you go to the interview. Know what they expect you to do for the company. Ask intelligent questions. There is always more to the job than what can be said in an ad. As you find out more about the job, you may discover job functions for which you are more qualified and you can direct your focus on them.
Make the interview a starting point. If the job is not something you are qualified to do, ask to leave your resume with the company or ask if there are similar opportunities at a lower level. If you appear enthusiastic, intelligent and committed, your interviewer(s) is more likely to offer suggestions to help you break into the field.
Never lie or exaggerate. It is fine to place your experience in the best possible light, but do not say you have experience in an area you don't.
Be prepared to handle rejection
Remember, nearly two thirds of the time, it's not the most qualified candidate who is hired, it's the one does the best job of promoting himself. Be prepared to handle rejection as despite of all good advice this may not work. Some employers might not consider you for positions in which you have no experience.
Keep trying. You may not get the first job for which you interview. Each interview will leave you better prepared for the next one. Remember: "No" really means "not now", not "never".
There are some jobs that you cannot do unless you have the correct licensure. Do some research before hand, and make sure that you can practice a certain profession legally without having the correct registrations beforehand.
You may get in over your head. Your new employer and colleagues may not appreciate your lack of experience in the job. They may not want to spend extra time getting you up to speed, when they expect a base level of competence and experience. You may be unhappy with the level of extra work required to keep up.
Be open to training. If the employer is willing to train you for the job, demonstrate enthusiasm about learning new things and a willingness to put extra time and effort into training. If you are a quick study, now is the time to mention it.
Consider taking training in the particular field you are trying to get into. It's not a good idea to apply for a job you're technically not qualified for, so actually becoming qualified is better than resorting to the steps in this article.
Alternatively, you can pick up books, use Coursera, an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer free courses online, or network with people in the field and check up internet forums. Combined, you can elevate your skills to entry-level positions.
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