Should I Apply For a Job I Am Under Qualified For?

As you’re looking for work, you may come across a job posting that you don’t feel fully qualified for. Maybe it’s a machine operator, and you’ve only worked in warehouses and as a general laborer. It seems like you might be underqualified. Should you apply anyway?

Yes, If You Can Do It

The first question you should ask is whether the job seems doable to you. If the job description seems like the kind of thing you can do, feel free to apply for it.

Here’s the kind of thing we mean. Say a job posting for machine operator reads “remove a plastic molded product from the blowing machine and trim off excess plastic.” You’ve never worked a blow machine before, but you have certainly removed molded plastic carefully. Plus, you’re careful and a quick learner. It seems to you like you could do it.

The important thing to do is to write a cover letter letting the employer know why you think you could do this. Don’t refer to being underqualified. Simply state that you have done similar things, and believe you could do a good job with this one. Say you are a quick learner as well.

Yes, If Your Skills and Experience Are Close

There are other times when a job description will ask for certain skills or years of experience. Say a job for a warehouse packer is wanted. It says one year of experience needed. You’ve worked as a warehouse packer for six months.

In cases like these, the length of time might be just a ballpark figure. They don’t want a beginner with no experience, in other words. They want a certain amount of experience, but not 10 years’ worth, either. You can apply as long as your skills and experience fall in the ballpark of what they’re looking for.

If You Don’t Have the Skills or Experience, It’s Not a Good Idea

At other times, though, you may run across job descriptions that have skills or experience you really don’t have.

Say a company wants a pallet sorter who can lift 50 pounds, and you are older, and couldn’t do that without significant strain on your back. Or say they want an experienced forklift driver, and you never have driven a forklift and don’t have a commercial license.

In cases like these, it isn’t practical to apply for the jobs. The company can’t hire you, and it might even give you a bad reputation when they see how unqualified you are.

It’s better to put your time and energy into applications where you have a good shot at getting the job.

Let a Staffing Agency Help

Looking for a job? A staffing agency can help. We provide job postings and advice on how to look. We’re happy to help. Contact us now.