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When in Doubt, Apply

When in Doubt, Apply

When in doubt, apply for that job that looks "too experienced" for you.

By Peter Vogt

March 12, 2009

You’ve discovered an exciting internship or entry-level job and would like to apply. But should you bother, even if you don’t have exactly what the ad outlines? With few exceptions, send your resume anyway. Here’s why:

A Listing Describes the Perfect Candidate

When employers write job ads, they list the qualifications of the ideal person for the job. They know — and accept — that they probably won’t actually find someone who meets every criterion, but they still ask for that person, just in case.

If you happen to be the perfect candidate for the job, great. But in the much more realistic case that you’re a decent but not ideal candidate, you still may be the best applicant to emerge.

This brings us to the second reason you should apply.

This Test Is Graded on a Curve

Thanks to years of schooling, you’ve probably become quite accustomed to being graded on a percentage basis. If you earn 90 percent of the points in a course, you get an A; if you earn 80 percent, you get a B; and so on.

On the other hand, your job search is graded on a curve. How you stack up in an employer’s eyes is based on how you compare to the other applicants.

So let’s say an employer thinks you’re a B-level candidate and concludes that all the rest of the applicants are C-level or worse. If this were a class, all you’d be able to say is, “I got a B.” But in this competition, you can say, “I got the job!”

Still not convinced? Don’t forget the most important reason to try for the job.

If You Try, You Have a Chance

If you decide not to apply for the job, you will have made the employer’s decision, and the negative consequences will be certain.

On the other hand, if you at least try for the job, you force the employer to consider you (if only briefly) and give you the thumbs up or down.

Granted, you have to use your head in all of this. Let’s face it: Your degree and summer internship experience aren’t going to remotely qualify you to be CEO of Company X and its 40,000 employees worldwide.

But if you meet some of the qualifications highlighted in the job listing or at least come close, force the employer to disqualify you if he must. Don’t disqualify yourself.

This article originally appeared on MonsterTRAK.


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