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On February 21st, 2017

Underqualified? Make Your Resume Show Your Potential

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Blog

Imagine it: You’re scanning job openings and you find a position that seems right up your alley and are confident that you could be successful. Then you get to the bottom and see that it lists qualifications that you don’t have. Should you chalk it up to a loss and move on? Not necessarily. Properly tailoring your resume could help you overcome a few shortcomings.

Expand your Summary of Qualifications

Transferable skills are key when you’re lacking some preferred experience. Consider weighing a little heavier on your summary by adding two or three bullet points that target valuable skills you bring to the table and that align with what the employer is looking for. This gives you the opportunity to showcase your abilities a little more right from the start and grab attention.

Demonstrate Achievements

Because you may be lacking in some areas, showing your accomplishments is critical. Do your best to quantify and qualify what you have done so employers can clearly see the difference you made and how your efforts paid off. Perhaps you don’t have the 7+ years of experience they want, but in your five years, you were able to make some major contributions. They may be willing to overlook the two years when they see the level at which you were performing and the scope of your job.

Show Initiative

Another way to make yourself look more attractive is to show your pursuit of training and professional development. This lets employers know that you’re committed to improving yourself and learning new things; that you take initiative to grow as a professional. You could also show your dedication by highlighting volunteer experience that leverages your skills in a different way and challenges you. Employers can see that you are adaptable, flexible, and a quick learner.

Tailor your Cover Letter

You can also attract positive attention through your cover letter. This gives you the opportunity to be a little more creative and add additional insight that may not appear on your resume. Research the company and find out what they’re all about so you can touch on these key points and how you align well with the organization. Focus on what you bring to the table and why you’re worth their while to interview even though you don’t necessarily check every box.

Know When to Move On

However, if you are grossly underqualified and it would be difficult for employers to see the connection, know when to move on. While a job description is a list of preferred qualifications and what they want to see in the ideal employee, there is usually some wiggle room, especially if they want to fill the spot quickly. But if you’re grasping for straws, it might be to your benefit to focus on a position where you could build your experience and eventually get to the level they require. Use it as motivation to pursue higher education or get more involved in certain types of activities or projects at work or through a non-profit.

Are you confident that you have what it takes to land the job (or at least an interview) but are unsure whether your resume and cover letter communicate that? The team at Grammar Chic will work with you to gather information about your skills, accomplishments, and training in order to create a polished resume that presents you in a positive light. Contact us at (803) 831-7444 or resumewriting@grammarchic.net to get started today and be on your way to applying for a new job.

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