Resume Writing: Are You a Less Than Perfect Candidate?
Is your resume writing stuck because you have seen the perfect position advertised and had every skill the employer is looking for except one? How do you compensate for a lacking skill when resume writing and still attract the employer?
First, here’s a tip from inside HR: Often employers and HR personnel create ‘wish list’ job qualifications and advertisements. Employers know chances are candidates will not have everything on their list. So do not let the fact that you are not perfect stop you from sending a resume, yet first make an assessment. You do not need to state that you are missing any requirement, though there are some considerations.
Evaluate what you are missing:
- Establish if the employer is looking for knowledge or proficiency. Knowledge and proficiency are not the same. Would you rather have a surgeon who has read books on surgery and passed a test, or one who has successfully performed 100 similar surgeries? Education can produce knowledge and proficiency is usually obtained by experience.If the employer is requesting experience, how much experience (proven proficiency) with the specific skill is the employer looking for?
- Determine if you can do the job with the knowledge and experience you have.Estimate what percentage of the job will require the absent capability in comparison to the talents you posses. Do you have lattice skills? These are skills that cross over each other and can support the area of the missing one. There might still be some holes (hence the lattice term) or missing knowledge, but you might have enough overlapping knowledge and experience to be proficient.
- Investigate how soon you can obtain the missing skill. How much knowledge is required? Is training, additional schooling, or a certification required, helpful or available?
Being the perfect candidate by possessing every skill the employer is seeking is desirable though not always required.
- If a certification or specific training program is required find out how and when you can enroll. If you can do so immediately you can include the fact that you are scheduled to obtain the education what you are lacking.
- If you have enough experience to perform the job without any additional training or education, provide proof with examples of accomplishments on your resume.
- If you have enough expertise to compensate for what is deficient temporarily, be prepared to state in an interview how you can perform with other capabilities until you are trained. Make sure you provide solid examples of accomplishments on your resume for all of your lattice skills. If you are going to convince an employer to give you an interview regardless of a missing item on their list, your other expertise needs to be stated strongly.
When you get an interview for a position your not perfect for, be equally prepared to answer questions about how you will compensate.
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