why you should apply for jobs you’re not qualified for

Taking on new challenges can be scary. Applying for ‘real life’ jobs and thinking about life after college is even scarier. Older, wiser people are always telling us to gain as much work and leadership experience as possible while we’re still in school — we might be tired of hearing it, but those older, wiser people are right.

The jobs that interest me almost always include qualification requirements that are well beyond my professional experience: 5+ years working in the field, 2-3 years of management experience, etc., etc., etc. Sound familiar? Your first thought might be to skip right past these highly-qualified positions, thinking that sending in your resume would almost be an insult to that company’s standards.

But if I can tell you one thing I’ve learned, it’s to do the opposite. Apply for that dream job. Do things before you’re ready. No one is an expert before starting something new — we’re all beginners at some point.

say yes

If you don’t value yourself, no one else will.

Almost every job I’ve ever held called for a person with more experience than I had at the time. The trick is to never stop learning and gaining experience, no matter where you are. If you completed a school project that required research and real-life skills, then learn from that. Those are valuable skills that you can apply to the workforce.

If you can communicate your abilities and your willingness to learn, you have a much better shot at that dream job than you think.

you can’t get a job if you don’t apply for it.

Two summers ago, I applied to a dream marketing internship with a law firm in New York. (Let’s be honest, if you mention anything about New York, I’m all over it.) I managed to get a Skype interview with the HR person and the CEO, and I knew that would be my best shot at getting this position.

A lot of factors were against me. They had never hired an intern from out of town, let alone far out of the state. I had little experience with marketing (only a position as Director of Public Relations for my sorority and some coursework). Why should they hire me? Because I could bring something new to the table, a fresh perspective that no other applicants could provide.

They decided to take a chance on me, offering me the position along with living arrangements for the summer. I was hesitant at first, because who wouldn’t be a little scared to leave home and live in a state where you literally didn’t know one person? There were a lot of unknowns, but I took a chance anyway.

Best decision of my life.

let fear motivate you.

Get out there and show the world who you are. Challenging yourself is the way to succeed; challenges — like fear — push us to the next level in our careers, closer to our ultimate goals.

So what now? Stop avoiding the jobs you think you can’t “handle,” and apply for the position you know you’ll knock out of the park, regardless of the job description.

How do you push yourself to your professional limits? Let us know in the comments! 

2 thoughts on “why you should apply for jobs you’re not qualified for

  1. Janet Mattar says:

    Great post, Katrina Do. Well written and good advice – just ” Do ” it . Nothing stands in the way ( in the path? ) of Katrina !

    By the way, have you cleaned your room lately? Love and hugs from your ” NY mom.” 😘


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