- If I lack a skill required for a position, should I admit I don’t have it or not mention it and hope for the best?
- It’s tough to be 100% qualified for jobs. That’s why I tell job seekers to go ahead and apply if they have at least 85% of the job requirements since companies will often consider a strong candidate who comes close to meeting all of their expectations. But what if you lack a skill that is considered a deal breaker? Should you not mention it and hope they hire you anyway?
I advise doing the following:
- Play up the relevant strengths you do have to leave no doubt you are highly qualified.
- Include relevant skills in your skills summary at the top of your resume.
- Feature job duties and accomplishments (where you used the skills) throughout the work history section of your resume.
- Emphasize relevant skills in your cover letter. Add a table where you list the core requirements in the left column and how you meet or exceed the requirements in the right column.
- Anticipate questions that will be asked at interviews and be ready to relay your strengths, skills and past accomplishments as they relate to the new position.
- Include the skills on your LinkedIn profile via the Skills and Expertise feature found under the More tab.
- Emphasize that the skill you lack is a work in progress.
- Mention near the bottom of your resume skills summary that you are “Actively acquiring abilities in [SKILLS NAME].” Why? Companies put resumes through keyword search software to see if the keywords they seek (relevant skills, duties) are on your resume. But don’t stop there … this next step is essential:
- Learn as much as you can about the skill before the interview by watching YouTube videos on the subject, compiling/reading articles about it, and practicing the skill (if possible). For example, if the needed skill is PowerPoint and you have PowerPoint on your computer, study the help section, watch online tutorials and then put together a PowerPoint presentation.
- Use the knowledge you have gained to answer interview questions about the new skill. It’s amazing how much more knowledgeable you will sound!
Often, just learning as much as you can about a needed skill (and showing initiative to learn it on your own time), is all that’s needed to convince a hiring company that you are the best candidate … and that can help you … Get a Job!