What is the Protocol for Applying to an Online Post if You Do Not Meet All of the Listed Requirements?

Ann-Z-newThere is typically going to be a list of mandatory requirements, and a “Dream List” of preferred but not mandatory requirements. Depending on how current the search is, the hiring manager may be open to considering candidates outside of his initial list. If a search is brand new, chances are the company is going to want to keep the parameters of the search pretty tight, until they see what is available. If after a month they have not seen their ideal candidate, they are much more likely to consider candidates with less than they initially required in terms of experience.

  • A good rule of thumb is if you have within 20% of the mandatory requirements, go ahead and apply.

If you have everything that is listed on mandatory qualifications except the 10 years of industry specific experience required yet have a solid eight years under your belt, it absolutely makes sense to throw your hat in the ring. However, if you are lacking any industry specific experience whatsoever,  or an essential component for being able to effectively work in the role such as a degree or certificate, than you are not qualified for the role. With that said, it never hurts to send in your resume, with a note acknowledging the deficient, emphasizing your areas of strength, and inquiring if there may be other opportunities within the organization that you may be a match for.

  • By acknowledging the fact that you do not meet the listed criteria, that puts you well ahead of all the other applicants that apply but fail to acknowledge what the ad is asking for.   

When searching for new opportunities, it makes sense to employ all possible methods to being alerted to new positions within your area of expertise. Set up alerts on Indeed as well as Google Alerts, Follow companies on Linked In, as well as individuals that are in positions of leadership within your targeted companies. Online ads can indeed  be terrific sources of information, and should be reviewed on a consistent basis.


Ask Ann,

Have a question you’d like a recruiter to answer? Write to me at AskAnn@execunet.com



Ann Zaslow-Rethaber

Ann Zaslow-Rethaber

A recruiter since 1996, Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is the president of International Search Consultants, a global executive recruiting firm launched in 1999.

ISC has become one of the country’s most reputable search firms, earning more recommendations on Linked In than any other 3rd party recruiting agency in the entire country. With a team of 15 talented recruiters, utilizing the very best high- tech tools available, ISC can produce highly qualified candidates for companies with hi-volume recruiting needs.

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