Should You Apply for a Job You’re Underqualified For?

You’re online searching for work, and you come across an amazing job opportunity that you know you would absolutely excel at. Your excitement builds as you scroll through the job description, only to diminish as you realize you lack some of the position’s required skills. So, you hit the back button and don’t apply. It’s a common situation for many, but not one that should stop you from trying. To quote Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Don’t argue with The Great One. Bottom line, it’s never a bad idea to apply for a position that you’re underqualified for. In fact, it’s a low-risk/high-reward situation. The worse they can say is “No,” or nothing at all.


By utilizing some of the following advice and resume crafting tips, you may be able to increase the chances that your information will squeak through resume-filtration software and get noticed by an actual human being who will recognize your determination, skills, and potential. It’s worth a shot.

Show a Willingness to Learn

It may be clear to an employer that you’re underqualified with just a quick glance at your resume, but you can compensate for your lack of experience by turning that negative into a positive. For example, some employers like hiring fresh inexperienced employees and molding them to the company standards from the ground up. Most jobs offer on-the-job training and a brief grace period to new employees as they master the learning curve that comes with any new position. Mention that you are “eager to learn” and “quickly and easily trainable.” Back up those claims with examples of your proficiency under the skills sections of your resume. Make firm declarations of knowledge and mastery of skill. Statements such as, “I possess” and “I am proficient in” convey a sense of confidence in your abilities.

Use Keywords

Examine the job description for their required qualifications. Search for any keywords related to daily assigned tasks or desired skills. Match as many of their specific job requirements as possible to your own past professional experiences and list each skill verbatim on your resume. Filling your resume with job qualification keywords will trigger application scanning programs to flag your resume. Even if you officially lack some of the qualifications for the position to which you are applying, they may not be completely foreign to you – so list them anyway.

Be Transparent

Save your potential employer the hassle of stalking you online by providing an address to your LinkedIn page and any other social media profiles or online portfolios that are relevant to the position. This quickly establishes a mutual trust by showing them that you are a serious professional and have nothing to hide.

Keep it Consistent

Remember, your resume is the first impression the employer will have of you, so make sure it’s not a disorganized mess. The font type, formatting, and text color should be consistent throughout. If you’d like to stand out, you can use a more modern font to convey personality, but don’t get carried away.

Stay Relevant

Whether you’ve had several jobs or just a few, only include work history that is relevant to the job you are seeking. Even if it was an unpaid internship, any experience you have in the same field as the job you are trying to get needs to be included on your resume.

Proofread Before Sending

Always closely proofread your resume for grammar, accuracy and typographical errors before hitting send. Make sure to look for consistency in formatting and spacing as well as writing tense.


Once you’ve proofread and sent your error-free resume, the hard part can begin: waiting for a response. Don’t get discouraged. Keep in mind that job hunting is a numbers game. The more jobs you apply for, the better your odds of getting hired. However, if you need help staying motivated, consider applying to a program that can assist you in reaching your ultimate career goals.


As part of our free LifeWorks training program, you will have access to advanced resume building training and additional resources that can help you discover the path to a better job. Contact The Jobs Partnership today by calling 407-641-0755 or filling out our online application.

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