You hear about an exciting job opening. Intrigued, you review the job posting line by line. “I can do that. I’ve got experience on that front. Yep, I’ve got that one nailed. I’ve done that before. I’ve got great examples to share to demonstrate experience in that area. Oops, I don’t have this qualification … or that one. I’d better not waste anyone’s time by pursuing this.” Is that you? Or, are you the more likely to say to yourself, “An 80-percent hit rate? I own this job!”
Certain people, and to my great frustration they are more likely to be women than men, wait to be perfectly qualified for a role before pursuing it. There are others, however, who tend to think about their potential capacity for success and assume they can conquer the demands of a role with a little time on the job. So, who’s right?
While I would never encourage anyone to be reckless in applying for role for which they are not qualified, I do believe there is merit in applying for positions that are significant stretches. If you have already mastered every component of a potentially new job, how fun can it really be? This is not to say that distinctions between “required” or “minimum” qualifications should be ignored. If an announcement calls for a minimum of 5 years managing a student-affairs program, the hiring authority probably isn’t kidding. If, on the other hand, the announcement says that teaching at the graduate level is a preferred qualification and your experience is limited to undergrads, don’t hesitate to express your interest.
How do you evaluate whether you are “ready” to express interest in a new position?