iStock_000019301611XSmallIt can be frustrating scanning through job openings and realizing that you are capable of doing what the employer is asking but don’t necessarily have the specific qualifications. They want 10 years of experience and you only have eight. They list a specific program but you know one that’s similar. This shouldn’t necessarily keep you from applying for the job if you’re a relatively close match. Keep in mind that there are few people who would fit every single qualification perfectly depending on how specific they are. Many employers are willing to overlook some discrepancies. They mainly want to weed out those applicants who are completely under qualified.

So how can you minimize gaps in your resume to show that you do have what it takes and you’re worth inviting for an interview?

  • Find the matches. What qualities and experiences do you have that are exactly what they’re looking for? Make sure these are clearly defined on your resume, not buried somewhere they might get skimmed over. Include metrics and results where possible to show rather than just telling what you can do.
  • Find the almosts. These are areas where you have done similar things that still provide you with a strong skill base. Demonstrate your accomplishments and capabilities to show that you have what it takes and can apply these skills to other projects. Remember that you don’t have to only rely on paid employment. Volunteer positions can provide valuable experience as well. Highlight major projects or accomplishments in these roles as well if they are relevant.
  • Maximize your cover letter. Because you have a little more flexibility and can show more personality in a cover letter, use this to strengthen your application package. Build connections between what you can do and what they want you to do. Remember to always keep things positive. You don’t want to draw attention to any shortcomings, but rather emphasize your achievements.

You can also use your connections to help boost your chances. If you know someone who works for the company, see if they can put in a good word or give you some advice on how to better customize your approach. Research the company so you have a better idea of what they’re looking for and how you’d fit in.

Just because you aren’t a perfect fit, doesn’t mean you’re not what they’re looking for anyway. Be realistic and don’t apply for jobs that are clearly out of reach, but also don’t be afraid to push yourself and see what happens. A well crafted and polished resume can set you apart and hit on the key points that make you a good candidate. Contact Chic Resumes today at (803) 831-7444 or to find out how we can help. Don’t let your dream job pass you by because your resume wasn’t doing you justice.