A job description is a list of requirements that an organization wants a candidate to be able to do.
There is an underlying rule that applying to roles that have job description tasks you are not familiar with is a waste of time.
I have been told that this is not the case.
What I have been told is that a job description is a lot like a wish-list you write, when you are a little girl, about the person you want to marry.
My wish-list was a scrapbook that just contained a lot of photos of this guy:
YES, there will definitely be tasks that you will need to know how to do everyday and those are usually listed in the beginning of the description, for your convenience.
Then there are those “nice to have” tasks. If you find yourself lacking in the requirements portion of the job description, look here to focus when you are writing a cover letter.
Hiring managers may have another idea about what I am revealing here.
However, here is the important take away.
Don’t discard a dream job because you don’t know a small portion of the tasks that are required.
Requirements simply mean that you will most likely be doing these tasks daily so hopefully you have some knowledge or familiarity with them.
As an example: A job description asks that you have experience in Photoshop, Drupal and HTML/CSS. You have experience in HTML/CSS and WordPress (another CMS much like Drupal) but have very little recent experience with Photoshop.
What do you do??
You highlight the tasks you are eloquent in and leave the not so familiar as talking points in your interview.
This is the quick and dirty answer.
However….note to hiring managers:
At the end of the day, there is always going to be a learning curve for any new role you take on.
Yes, it would be irresponsible of us and a waste of time if we apply for a role as a surgeon and we have a degree in journalism.
This is not the type of issue I am talking about.
I am telling you all this because a few days ago I was struggling with finding dream jobs to apply to because I was missing one or two ticks on a job description. In true Imposter Syndrome form I would look through 4 paragraphs of a job and the TWO things I was inexperienced at would stick out like an atheist in the bible belt.
I would then throw out the job and shrug my shoulders as if to say, ah well, I would have failed at that job anyway because I didn’t have experience in X, and Y. Too bad though, because I could totally do A-W and Z`!
Yes, yes they did. But I can guarantee that the 100% person does not exist.
There is nothing wrong with not wanting to be challenged in your job, feeling comfortable in your tasks at all times, not necessarily being interested in learning and growing. Some people are quite happy in these types of jobs and being paid to do so.
THIS IS NOT WHAT A DREAM JOB IS.
A Dream Job should challenge you, excite you, leave room for growth and be something you are passionate about.
So unless you are passionate about routine (HEY don’t knock it some people are), or passionate about stagnation, or really in love with the notion of boredom, applying to roles that have some tasks you are inexperienced with is encouraged.
Back to the hypothetical role above. Pick out 3 things from the Job Description you are well versed at. Then , when your interview time comes and they ask you about those tasks that you are not as familiar with, it’s a great place to pitch yourself. You can let the interviewer know, “I am familiar with Photoshop and used it for personal projects and I am looking forward to using it more as I get up to speed in the role.”