How to Land Your Dream Job Even When You Don't Meet the Requirements

professional skills

Do you have a dream job that you wish you could apply to but that you don't quite meet the requirements for? Check out our tips for how to land the role anyway!

We all know what it's like to want things we shouldn't. Sometimes the best response is to let it go, but sometimes, it's worth fighting for the things you really want. Dream jobs are one of those things. Sure, it might seem like a waste of your time to apply to a job you aren't technically qualified for, but if you follow these suggestions, you just might land the position you've been coveting.

Apply Anyway

Our first tip for applying to your dream job is to actually apply! Don't chicken out just because you see things in the job requirements that you aren't a perfect match for. There's absolutely no chance of you getting the job if you never put in your application, so take a deep breath and take the first step of submitting yourself. It's the only way you'll find out if you just might have what it takes after all.

A person networking to help her get her dream job

Get a Referral

It isn't always possible to do so, but getting a referral from somebody who already works at the company you're applying to is the best way to make sure that the right pair of eyes sees your resume. LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for this. Do a search to see who you're connected to that works for the company. You might already have an acquaintance who works there who you can appeal to. But even if you don't, it's worth reaching out to people you're indirectly linked to. Heck, why not even reach out to perfect strangers? As long as you're polite and respectful, it can't hurt. You never know what you might say that can hit a nerve for somebody and convince them to support you. And even if the referral doesn't work out, you might still be able to broaden your network.

A job applicant writing a cover letter

Make Your Case

If you've ever thought that you could convince a hiring manager to give you an interview for your dream job if you could just show them your passion and drive, you can! Your cover letter is the perfect place to do just that. Even if the application doesn't require a cover letter, send one anyway. Use it as a chance to explain why this is your dream job and why you're the best candidate for it. Instead of being negative and saying something along the lines of 'I know I don't meet the requirements…' focus on the positive things. Talk about your passion and the transferable skills you can bring from previous experience. This is your chance to prove that you deserve a shot.

Prove Your Abilities

Sometimes, if you're lucky, a company will ask you to complete some form of assessment before they consider inviting you for an interview. This is an opportunity for you to prove that you have the skills you need for the job and it's an ideal way to show that, even though you might not meet the qualifications, you can still excel at the work required of you. If you are fortunate enough to be given this chance, know that it is your absolute best bet for getting your dream job. Take no chances and make sure you ace that assessment.

A job applicant learning new skills online

Learn the Skills You're Missing

What if you actually don't have the skills you need for the job? You want it, but you aren't yet the best candidate for it? Well, acquire those skills! Sure, you might not be able to casually go back to school for a new degree, but there are plenty of opportunities for learning that will enhance your abilities and make you more qualified. Between online courses, conventions, boot camps, and mentorships, you have every chance to learn the skills you're missing and make yourself a more appealing candidate for the job. And your target company will appreciate your proactivity and pursuit of lifelong learning.

What's your dream job? Let us know on Twitter @studydotcom.

Looking for online courses to help you acquire the skills you need for your dream job? Check out Study.com.

By Daisy Rogozinsky
November 2018

Never miss an update

Support