Image Credits: McKenna Bleu

Ever feel like you’re on the outside looking in? You know you have talents and drive, but you’re not sure how to get your foot in the door. You spend time looking into open positions and pining away after them.  Suddenly, an opportunity presents itself and it’s everything you could have hoped for. You’re passionate about it, you’re good at it, and it will open up so much more for you down the line. There’s just one problem: you don’t feel ready. Whether your resume is seriously lacking, your GPA just a tiny bit lower than what you’d like, or you’re simply doubting your ability, here are four ways to land a job you aren’t qualified for.

  1. Show a willingness to learn. So, maybe you don’t have as much experience as they’re looking for in a candidate.  Maybe you’re unfamiliar with a program you’d be using often. It’s not an ideal situation, but if you can communicate to a potential employer that you are eager to learn new things and can pick up on them quickly, give it a shot anyways. Take initiative to find out more about what you’re lacking. More often than not, an employer will appreciate your adaptability and enthusiasm.

  2. Emphasize a commitment to and a passion for the organization. Familiarize yourself with the company mission.  Be able to articulate why and how it aligns with your personal values. Know why you are aiming for a specific organization above a competitor or partner organization.  Make sure your answer isn’t just about what what they can do for you, but also about what you can do for them.

  3. Make yourself memorable, and get your name in front of the right people. Use your discretion here, but if for example, you’re already acquainted with people in the organization, interact with them on social media. Build relationships, so if your name comes up in conversation, it will come with a positive association. Utilize LinkedIn, follow the company and some top executives on Twitter, like them on Facebook. You never know when someone will see your name and remember something about you that gives you an edge.

  4. Work hard and be kind. This sounds easy, but don’t confuse nice with “polite,” I mean truly “nice.” Show a genuine desire to help others and work for a cause. Be kind, smile at people, hold open doors. The best advice I’ve ever received was incredibly simple, but so often forgotten; “work hard and be kind.” In business and politics, it’s no secret that most people best serve their own self interest. That’s okay to an extent, we should all set goals and aim high for ourselves.  Don’t become so absorbed in your own image that you can’t appreciate where you are and develop an ego. You are not too important to do any task set in front of you, whether it’s fetching coffee, putting together a booth at a conference, or phone banking personally.

Know what you want, plan how to get there. Even if you don’t feel qualified; you can do this.

Danielle B
Danielle is a conservative political consultant who aides organizations in communicating their big ideas and empowering leaders. She works with a multitude of organizations, most notably including the American Conservation Coalition, OUTSET Network, and Future Female Leaders. Danielle can't explain why she doesn't need feminism, she's too busy succeeding without it. She likes coffee, capitalism, and proving people wrong.

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