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How to Overcome the Anxiety of Being Underqualified for a Job

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How to Overcome the Anxiety of Being Underqualified for a Job

The job description sounds intriguing. You want to apply – but you don’t meet all the job requirements. So, you hesitate.

Job hunting is hard enough without beating yourself up over qualifications. How do you decide if your reluctance to pursue a position is based on fact or fear?

Feeling Underqualified for a Job? Here are 5 Ways to Overcome Your Anxiety

Define ‘Underqualified’

According to Indeed, “Being underqualified means that your skills, abilities and experience don’t exactly match with an employer’s expectations for a particular position. You can be underqualified because of years of experience, degree level or familiarity with particular tools.”

Given that description, are you truly underqualified, or is fear getting in the way of your career goals? Let’s consider three scenarios.

You’re Not There Yet

There can be some wiggle room between an employer’s requirements and the actual skills required for the job. However, if they’re asking for 10 years’ experience and you have two, it will be hard to bridge that gap. Your perception that you’re underqualified is based on practicality, not fear. You haven’t had time yet to develop all the nuanced skills that will help you succeed in this role.

But if that’s the job you would like to have some day, use the job description to guide your future goals. Note any additional skills you should acquire while you’re gaining that much-needed experience. When the time comes (maybe sooner than you think) you will have the background necessary to perform that job well.

You Might be Qualified

“Applying for a job with no experience or not quite the experience on the job description is okay! Any job description is a mix of must-haves and nice-to-have qualifications,” says Top Resume.

According to a Robert Half study cited by CNBC, “84% of HR managers say their company is open to hiring an employee whose skills can be developed through training. Additionally, 62% of employees who applied for a job they were underqualified for said they still received an offer.”

If you possess more than a handful of requirements, applying for a position that meets your interests and career goals might be worth a shot. You may have other transferable skills that are just as valuable.

When you apply for the job, emphasize those strengths. In addition, consider including a cover letter to explain how those skills apply to the position opening.

Yes, You Are Qualified!

Read the job description again. Is the job way out of your depth, or just a bit of a challenge?

“The first rule of career advancement is that if you’re completely qualified for the job you’re applying for, you’ve aimed too low,” notes Fast Company. “It’s not worth your time if it isn’t a stretch.”

So go for it!

Ditch the Doubt

Don’t let doubt sabotage you. Anticipating change and meeting challenges can be scary. But if you’re interviewed for that “stretch” job, odds are that your skillset and background have caught someone’s attention. Once you’re seated face to face, you can use that opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the position and eagerness to learn what you don’t know. And a job offer cements the fact that they see your potential!

Ready To Apply To a New Job?

If you’re ready to ditch the doubt and find your next career challenge, contact the placement experts at Pro Resources Staffing Services.