If you do not have the qualifications for a job—the skills, education, background, and accomplishments that the job demands—the job is not worth pursuing. You will be rejected.
But how do you know if your qualifications fit the job?
- Missing qualifications. Some job postings and advertisements list so many job requirements that no one human being could possibly provide them all. Or maybe the requirements are reasonable, but you cannot meet one or two of them. In either case, you should have the ability to acquire the skills you do not have. The job is only worth pursuing if you have a majority of the qualifications the job requires, including the first few they mention that you know really are essential, and your resume shows you are capable of achieving the rest.
- Pending qualifications. You must provide the proper education and licenses for jobs in fields like nursing, law, financial advising, and engineering; certifications are more likely to be optional. However, it is all right to say that your degree, license, or certification is pending—as long as “pending” does not means months and not years from now. The job is worth pursuing if your resume confirms that you have earned or are actively earning the qualifications you need.
- Out-of-date qualifications. If you are re-entering the workforce after an absence, your resume must show that your qualifications are current. If they are dated, consider volunteer, intern, or temporary jobs or education that will help to prove that you are keeping your qualifications current. When it comes to old positions on your resume, consider if you have outgrown those old skills or the industry has moved passed them, summarize past positions, and leave maximum room for your current skills and qualifications. The job is worth pursuing if your resume supports your current ability to do the work.
- Changing qualifications. If you are shifting careers (for example, you are looking to transition into management), you must pull out from your past positions examples of the skills you will need in the new career. For example, highlight occasions when you showed leadership even when you were not the official team leader. The job is worth pursuing if you write your resume for the job you want, not the jobs you had in the past.
- Technical and scientific qualifications. Assume that the recruiters and hiring managers who first read your resume will have less knowledge than you about the technical or scientific basis for your career. Concentrate on the results you have delivered using your knowledge, not on the technical or scientific how and why. Always define acronyms. Different organizations, even different divisions in the same organization, will use the same acronyms in different ways; you want to be clear, and you want any searches to pick up on both the acronym and the words behind it. The job is worth pursuing if your resume clearly explains your technical and scientific qualifications in terms of accomplishments.
Do you have concerns about your qualifications for the job you are pursuing? Robin’s Resumes® can help by writing a resume that deals in the best way possible with missing, pending, out-of-date, changing, or technical and scientific qualifications.