A Guide to Understanding Qualifications Listed on Job Applications


Job postings can be intimidating due to the large number of skills and qualifications they tend to require. If you haven’t yet finished your degree and want to start working while you’re still at university or you’ve already started your job search for post-graduation but don’t yet have any experience in your field, you may feel hesitant about applying for some positions.

However, it’s important to realize that requirements on a job post are often no more than guidelines — they’re what hiring managers would like to see in a candidate, but they’re not all essential. To figure out if it’s worth applying, you need to determine whether you’d be able to offer employers what they want.

Demonstrate Transferable Skills

Job posts often specify that they want candidates with experience, which can leave you feeling like you have limited options. However, you almost certainly have transferable skills that could make up for your lack of experience.

It’s important to consider all the skills you’ve gained — through part-time jobs, internships, your studies, participation in extracurriculars, volunteer positions, and other areas of your life. Consider how these skills relate to the qualifications mentioned in the job post.

Show Your Motivation

Another way to demonstrate that you could be an ideal candidate even when you don’t meet all the requirements of a job post is to show a willingness to learn. In your application and at the interview, mention what you’ve learned at university, why you chose your major, and what ambitions you have for the future. It’s better still if you can talk about ideas you have that would enable you to excel in the position and would help the company see results.

Learn About the Company

To do both the above, it helps to know as much about the company as possible. Not only will the hiring manager be impressed by your knowledge, this will also show you have a genuine interest in the position. In particular, you should discuss how the mission of the company aligns with your own values.

Contacts Are Everything

You’re more likely to receive an interview — or even find out about positions that are not publicly listed — if you have contacts within the company. Take advantage of networking opportunities at university, such as job fairs and other campus events. You should also use your LinkedIn network to see if you can connect with someone who may be able to give you a referral. Finally, talk to your professors and previous employers to see if they know anyone, both at companies you’d like to work for and at businesses in your field that you hadn’t considered.

Using your connections will improve your chances of landing an interview for a job where you lack some of the qualifications.
You may be able to avoid needing a part-time job while you’re still a student if you move into a more affordable apartment. You can find Brock University off-campus housing at Parkway Lofts. Our stylish apartments are just across the street from campus, fully furnished, and equipped with all the necessities. Book a tour to see the suites for yourself before you sign a lease.

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