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It happens for many of us during the job search: You stumble upon a description that fits exactly what you’re looking for in your next role—but as you read further, you notice that you maybe aren’t a perfect match based on the listed qualifications.

Cue the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. You know there’s no way to tweak your resume to encompass some of the specifics like, “5 years of sales experience,” or “MBA required,” but you’re nonetheless convinced that your prior experience would make you a great fit for the role.

But how do you know if you actually have a shot at the job, or if every single one of the listed qualifications is non-negotiable?

It’s a common concern, and, therefore, a situation that we have plenty of advice on how to proceed. Here’s everything you need to consider before you get your heart set on that slightly out-of-reach role:


1. How to Know if You’re Under-Qualified or Unqualified for a Job (There’s a Difference)

Start with finding out if you stand a chance based on your skills and background; you don’t want to waste time daydreaming about something you’re completely unqualified for as opposed to something that’s within reach.


2. The Guide to When You Should (and Shouldn’t) Apply to a Job That’s a Reach

If you’re not quite sure what the answer is, walk yourself through career expert Jenny Foss’ list of scenarios for when you should apply and when you should hold off.


3. The 2 Kinds of Skills You Should Highlight When You’re Under-Qualified for a Job

Learn the key difference between transferable and additive skills to improve your chances for getting the job.


4. Don’t Lose Hope: 3 Things Recruiters Consider When a Good Candidate Is Under-Qualified

Here are a few reasons you should consider throwing your hat in the ring. (Hint: One involves being a motivated learner.)


5. This Is What Makes Hiring Managers Fight for Under-Qualified Candidates

Sometimes, the less experienced, more enthusiastic and passionate person is the one who gets noticed.


6. The Secrets to Interviewing for a Role That’s Slightly out of Reach

Congrats! Your resume and cover letter conveyed your story well enough to get you in the door—here’s how to prep for the interview.


7. How to Convince an Employer to Take a Chance on You (and Ignore the More Qualified Candidates)

Instead of sounding desperate and blurting out, “Take a chance on me,” show the hiring manager why you’re worth it.