Job Requirements are More Flexible Than You Think

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Some recommended skills can work as well as all recommended skills.

It’s a common joke for my generation that businesses that are hiring purposely list impossible requirements on their job postings. For example, a company will request five years of experience in some kind of programming language that’s only existed for three years. In actuality, though, that’s not a joke, it’s a deliberate move. While there are some companies that will make those kinds of requests out of ignorance, a lot of them do so as a sort of secret challenge to potential hires. They list something that’s obviously impossible to see how you can spin yourself to make it work. Is it obnoxious? A little bit! But you can still use that to your advantage.

Whether a job’s listed requirements are obviously impossible or just a little outside of your personal range, you can still apply to it. Part of the goal of that aforementioned secret challenge is to find people who can take the skills they do have, and make them work in other settings. If you think you have skills that are even tangentially related to the ones requested on the job listing, it’s worth a shot.

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There’s a certain art to spinning your skills, and it might require a bit of research. Look through the list of skills and experience that the job posting requests. Even if you don’t have precise experience in a listed field, you may have some in a similar one. Even if you don’t know the obscure programming language they request, if you’re experienced in programming in general, that means you could pick it up quickly. If you think you’ve got a potential spin, go ahead and apply to the job. The absolute worst thing that could happen is that they’ll say no. Or, I guess, they could ghost you for a month, but hey, you probably wouldn’t wanna work for a company that ghosts people anyway.

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2 weeks ago
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