How To Apply For Jobs When You Don’t Tick All The Boxes


Job descriptions are simply put, the hiring manager’s ideal person, and, providing that person aces the interview, if they tick all the boxes on the job description the job is theirs. However, with a limited population of around 170,000 people across the Channel Islands, employers might not always get that perfect candidate.

Many job-searchers will turn down applying for jobs if they feel they can’t tick all the necessary boxes, when in many cases, they could have stood a good chance at making it to interviews, because it may turn out that whilst you only meet 75% of the requirements, you’re the most qualified applicant they’ve seen.

How do I go about it?

There is always the unfortunate chance that your CV may end up at the bottom of the pile when you don’t quite match up to the description, so it’s important to get noticed. A quick informal call to the recruiter/hiring manager in advance to ask some questions about the role and manage their expectations, start with explaining the requirements that you do meet before getting on to the requirements that you don’t but try to spin a positive and offer transferrable or relevant skills that you have. Hopefully, you will have got yourself a foot in the door and then you can follow up with your CV for consideration.
If you don’t happen to get anywhere, leave it for a couple of weeks and follow up with another call and see if they’ll reconsider. Compare the process to haggling, if you go in with an offer at 75% on a desirable item, the seller knows they have time on their side to get exactly what they want, but if they can’t move that product after an extended period of time, they’ll be more flexible and open to negotiation.

How can a recruiter help?

This is a very common process that we go through on a regular basis, in fact, many of our candidates are placed based on their transferable skills. Employers will value a good culture-fit and relevant skills more than being able to tick every box on a requirements list. As we’re regularly working alongside employers, we’ve had the time to build up a good rapport and benefit from being able to pick up the phone and have an informal discussion.
What’s more is, we’ll have an honest discussion with you based on your capabilities and whether or not we think you could be a good fit for the role before contacting the employer to consider you for an interview.
A recent candidate of mine was desperate to get out of his job and I sent him over a role that was similar to what he did, but there were a couple of areas he didn’t have experience in and as a result declined to be put forward as he thought he wouldn’t be able to do the job. After a few months of further searching, the client still hadn’t found their ideal candidate, I convinced my candidate to reconsider having his CV put forward and the client loved him, offered him training to fill the skills gaps and gave him a considerable pay-rise too!

See a job that you’re pining for but don’t think you have what it takes on paper? Contact me directly for a confidential and honest discussion.