Get a job even when you don't tick all the boxes

Flickr user Tess Aquarium

(MoneyWatch) COMMENTARY  The requirements that you find in most job listings are often more akin to wish-lists -- which means that even if you don't meet all the criteria, you still could be a good candidate for the position. After all, when hiring, most companies are looking for the best available candidate, so job listings are generally written to include every conceivable talent or skill that's related to the job, even if you'd have to be a veritable superhero to have them all.

That means there's a reasonable chance you'll be considered for a job even if you don't meet all the criteria. As a long-time hiring manager, I can attest to that, but it's also supported by a report in career-advice site The Daily Muse.

So what how do you tackle a job opening when you don't meet all the criteria? Don't lie about your background, for one -- that's the sort of thing that can get you fired in short order. Just ask Yahoo's former CEO Scott Thompson, who was just canned for padding his resume with a college degree that he didn't actually earn.

Here are some specific recommendations from The Daily Muse:

- Tweak your resume to emphasize experience and accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to do the work required by the position. If the ad requires five years' experience as a program manager in software design, emphasize the related work you've done in hardware integration.

- Don't have the years of experience the hiring manager is looking for? This is often a soft requirement, so if you can demonstrate that you have the needed experience and accomplishments with less time at the helm, you might still be able to get the job.

- Finally, if the position requires specific hands-on experience with a tool like Adobe Premiere, be specific about your Final Cut Pro expertise -- the programs are similar and the skills are transferable.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Tess Aquarium

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