Make us your home page
Jobs | Qualifications

Try for job, even if qualifications aren't a perfect fit

The job posting requires five years of experience. You have three. But you know you're qualified to do the job. Should you apply anyway? • The answer may depend on how the organization does its hiring.

If it's a big company that uses computerized scanning or an HR office to screen applicants, the employer may be programmed — literally or figuratively — to throw out applicants who don't meet every requirement.

In an employers' market, it shortens the applicant pile to find the ones who meet every demand.

That search for the perfect fit frustrates job hunters. And at least one career expert thinks it hurts employers, too.

Nick Corcodilos, who blogs at Web site, takes employers to task for seeking a perfect qualifications match.

"Employers emphasize experience too much when evaluating job candidates," he wrote. "I'm not disparaging the value of experience, but by overemphasizing specific experience, I think we discount ingenuity and the ability to ride a learning curve."

Corcodilos encourages employers to say that "experience is negotiable," provided the applicant shows the necessary talent and ability to learn.

His bottom line is that the search for the "perfect" fit overlooks some "imperfect" talent who could capably do the job.

One way to see if the "imperfect" candidate fits would be to invite him or her in for a tryout or build a work sample into the recruiting process.

Then, as Corcodilos noted, it's up to the job hunter "to prove you're a worthy hire."

As always, the odds of getting that chance improve if you have an advocate or can network into the company.

You also may be able to promote your qualifications as equal to those requested.

For example, if the posting requires a bachelor's degree, you might be able to attract a second look by noting that your associate degree plus work experience in the field are tantamount qualifications.

It might not get through the hiring filters, but you won't know if you don't try.

Diane Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at the Kansas City Star.

Try for job, even if qualifications aren't a perfect fit 01/15/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 15, 2010 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals


    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  3. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO


    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Sherry Smith is taking over as CEO at Triad Retail Media, the company announced Monday. | [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  5. Two new condo projects for same street in downtown St. Pete

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — It lacks the panache and name recognition of Beach Drive, but 4th Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg is becoming a condo row in its own right.

    Bezu, a condo project planned at 100 Fourth Ave. NE in downtown St. Petersburg, will have 24 units including a three-level penthouse with infinity pool.
[Courtesy of Clear ph Design]