Overcoming the “Under-Qualified” Stigma

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It’s happened to everyone: you come across a job description for a position that’s right up your alley. The job is interesting and looks like something that you are completely capable of and excited to do. And then your eyes wander to the “Qualifications” section… You don’t have a Masters degree, 5+ years of experience, or a Series 7 license. So what do you do? Scrap it and move on? If you’re lacking many of the key qualifications that appear mandatory, then indeed you’re probably better off allocating your time and effort applying elsewhere. But if you’re only a few qualifications away from that ideal candidate description, you might be selling yourself short if you give up before even trying. Read on for a list of tips on overcoming the “under-qualified candidate” stigma.

Emphasize Your Skills

Ok, so maybe you don’t hit every bullet point with your qualifications. But don’t give up hope just yet. For many positions, the “Qualifications” section is merely a list of attributes of the ideal candidate. This doesn’t mean that they’re unwilling to consider someone who meets only some of the requirements. So instead of dwelling on what you haven’t done, focus on what you’re great at. Many skills that you acquire throughout school, volunteer work, or another job are transferable to other positions, and can be used to replace any prerequisites that you might not meet. Highlight these skills or experiences in your cover letter, and explain how they will help you excel in that specific job. One important caveat: don’t waste your time applying for jobs that you’re completely unqualified for – for example, if you’re looking at a position for an Associate Attorney at a top law firm, you better have a law degree.

Go the Extra Mile

If you come up short on knowledge or experience, emphasize to an employer that you are willing to work harder than any other candidate to brush up on your skills and become well versed in the subject matter. Don’t underestimate the value that hiring managers place on a strong work ethic. Include in your resume and cover letter examples of your ability to learn quickly. If you possess many of the other qualities of the ideal candidate, you may find that your enthusiasm to learn and contribute may very well land you the position.

Network

Networking is a great way to gain introductions into a company. Networking can also help you establish someone on the inside as an individual who can vouch for you. When you come across that tricky job description, mention to your contact that you’re planning on applying, and explain why. Be honest, and address any points that might weaken your application. Companies want to hire individuals they can trust. If someone with a good history at the company is able to put in a good word for you, it will further bolster that company’s confidence in bringing you on.

Volunteer or Intern

If you find that no matter how you try to spin it, you just can’t land the position you want based on your qualifications, offer to volunteer your services for free. This isn’t to say that you should ever allow a company or an individual to take advantage of you. But if you volunteer or intern for a company, you’ll gain valuable experience that you can parlay into a future opportunity at the company. Get in, work hard, and show them that they need you. Even if doing so doesn’t lead to another prospect within that company, you’ll gain important knowledge and skills that will qualify you for a position similar to the job you had hoped for at the outset.

It’s easy to look at a job description, think, “There’s someone out there who’s better,” and quickly abandon the effort. But have a little faith in yourself – play to your strengths and commit to working even harder than the next guy, and you may find yourself more qualified than you think. So take a chance – you’ve got nothing to lose – and you may find yourself one step closer to your dream job!

All the best,
The Doostang Team

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Doostang Success — A Great Job after 3 Years of Unemployment

Ryan

Baruch College (MS), 2011
Analyst – REIS

“After getting laid off in 2008 from my financial services job, it seemed impossible to get back into the business world. I applied for hundreds of jobs and couldn’t even get an interview or even a response. After three years of unemployment and exhausting almost every avenue I knew of, a friend recommended Doostang to me.

Within two months I went on three interviews, got two job offers, accepted one and I am now back to work full time.

Doostang is by far the best job site I ever used. Every job listing on this site is legit, there is no ‘work from home and make 10K/month’ type listings. If you see it on Doostang it means that company is looking for someone right now. I already got my father and two of my friends using it too, worth every penny!”


Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Investment Banking Analyst – Leading Diversified Financial Services Company, New York, NY

Marketing Coordinator – International Law Firm, Miami, FL

Financial Research Assistant – Premier Global Financial Services Company, Philadelphia, PA

Capital Markets Analyst – Preeminent Real Estate Company, Houston, TX

Venture Manager – Premier Financial Firm, New York, NY

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Doostang Success — An Offer from a Venture Capital Group in Boston

Connor

Villanova University, 2011
Analyst – Hercules Technology Growth Capital

“I recently received and accepted an offer to work for a venture capital group in Boston. I was in the process of interviewing for another 2 jobs I found on Doostang but immediately jumped on this offer with a great, young group back home.

I am a graduating senior from Villanova University and the on campus recruiting here is quite limited and quickly dwindles down by the end of the fall.

Doostang provided a constant stream of new job postings in much more relevant and interesting fields and was able to offer these quality positions in many cities across the country.

One of the biggest drawbacks to solely relying on campus recruiting is the limited types of positions (Villanova is BIG on accounting and operations jobs) and limited geographic options (heavy NYC, Philadelphia, NJ based companies).

Doostang has a very strong reputation amongst companies in the San Francisco and NYC area and my other 2 jobs I was interviewing for were in the San Francisco/Palo Alto area.

I was very pleased with the quality and frequency of jobs found on Doostang. The interface and web page set up was very user friendly and made tracking and submitting applications (with resumes, cover letters, messages) a breeze.”


Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Equity Analyst-Industrials – Prestigious, Research-Driven Asset Management Firm, New York, NY

Sr. Manager/Manager – Boutique Strategy Consulting Firm, San Francisco, CA

Research Analyst – Premier Mutual Fund Manager, Denver, CO

Associate – Full Service Real Estate Brokerage & Investment Firm, New York, NY

Analyst Group Head – Top Wealth Management Service Provider, Miami, FL

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Search Business News to Find a New Job

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY
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Reading the news with an eye toward your job search can open up unexpected leads and contacts for a new job. The key lies in what you are looking for when you read the news. Learn to mine the news for hints of impending job opportunities and you will be landing a new job before others are even aware of potential openings.

Review the Job Market

To gain a sense of local hiring trends and openings, online job sites are the obvious starting point. However, between the hidden job market and inside employee interest, by the time you hear about openings your chances of getting hired may be quite slim. Information on who is hiring is only part of the picture. Analyze the openings you see across industries as well as specific positions. If you notice there are many openings for a certain type of position, for example project managers, at several different companies, you may be in a stronger position to gain an interview. Thoroughly research the companies with openings and submit your resume with a 3-point plan of potential improvements that address specific concerns for each prospective employer.

Analyze National Trends

To add power to your search, expand your analysis to national papers such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. What you’re looking for in these papers are trends and news of business expansions.  A simple online search for “business expansion” can also provide a game plan for regional and national opportunities. Research global companies to identify possible local expansions. Is Ford opening a new plant? Is Johnson & Johnson rolling out a new quality assurance program? What tech firms are merging? Any of these changes may foretell increased hiring efforts. Put yourself first in line with your keen investigative skills and unique perspective on the hunt!

Business Section Leases and Mortgages

Investigate shifts in local business locations. Businesses signing new leases or gaining new mortgages could signal impending hiring increases. Create a list and begin a cold-call campaign. Follow up with your resume, including any plans you may develop for increasing the company’s client base, quality improvements, or streamlining production.

Identify Small Businesses

Economists consistently tout the importance of small businesses in hiring, though it’s often difficult to find those opportunities. Small businesses may not advertise openings in traditional ways simply to save on time and expenses. Enlist the local Chamber of Commerce or other directories to create a list of local small businesses. Small business owners appreciate innovation and hard work, qualities exemplified by seeking out their business in your job search. Fewer layers of administration also favor the likelihood that you will speak directly with the business owner making the hiring decisions. No HR screening or gatekeepers in lean small businesses!

Create Opportunities

Even if you are able to identify local job options, businesses may not be able to offer a full-time salary. Build your own opportunities by tethering together several part-time options across small businesses. In addition to increasing your immediate salary, you are also expanding your professional network. Each person you meet has the potential to connect you with another opportunity. Your winning attitude can help open that door!

Thinking outside the box has become a trite term, but the approach remains powerful. By reading the newspaper from a unique perspective, you will be leaping ahead of the competition. Distinguishing yourself in how you manage your job search is a great way to show potential employers the value and creative energy you can bring to their company. Mine the paper for opportunities and you will be in a new job before anyone else even realizes the company is hiring!

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

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Doostang Success — Investment Banking Analyst Job that I Had Been Searching For

Jesse

University at Albany, State University of New York, 2007
Investment Banking Analyst – BB&T Capital Markets | Windsor Group

“I knew Doostang hosted a premier listing of job opportunities, but I was hesitant at first to subscribe to the paid service. After months of searching and no luck, I decided to see if applying through the “Doostang Network” would yield better results.

Contrary to my experience applying directly through career websites, I was contacted by several companies through Doostang. In many cases, I got nearly instant feedback, because Doostang alerts you whenever an employer views your resume.

After a challenging interview process with one of the respondents, I landed the job that I had been searching for!”


Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Venture Capital Associate (Pre-MBA) – Expansion-Stage Venture Capital Fund, Boston, MA

Business Analyst – Leading Digital Strategy, Design & Development Agency, New York, NY

Analyst Group Head – Top Wealth Management Service Provider, Miami, FL

Intern – Leading Management Consulting Firm, New York, NY

Jr. Associate – Top Tier Venture Firm, SF Bay Area, CA

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Doostang New Jobs This Week: Feb 14 – 20


Doostang has thousands of highly sought after positions at companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Time Warner, Facebook, and more. Looking to get ahead in your job search? Be the first to apply to these exceptional NEW jobs just posted on Doostang.


Investment Banking Intern, New York, NY – Premier Investment Banking Firm Specializing in Cross-Border M&A seeks an Investment Banking Intern.


China Graduate Program, Beijing, China – Top-Tier Global Energy Firm seeks China Graduates.


Acquisitions Associate, Chicago, IL – Multinational Real Estate Investment Management Firm seeks an Acquisitions Associate.


Jr. Marketing Associate, Los Angeles, CA – Global Media & Entertainment Company seeks Jr. Marketing Associate.


Investment Associate, Denver, CO – Premier Investment Company seeks an Investment Associate.


Sr. Consultant, New York, NY – Top Tier Global Strategy Consulting Firm seeks Sr. Consultant.


Associate/Sr. Associate, Miami, FL – Premier Special Situation Investment Firm seeks an Associate/Sr. Associate.

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Doostang Success — Networking My Way into My Current Position

Brenda

University of Virginia, 2010
Regional Client Services Manager – Frontier Strategy Group

“I applied to several jobs posted on Doostang.  Though it seemed like it was leading nowhere, I finally got contacted by several consulting companies on the East Coast.

One phone interview set off a number of follow up emails and calls, until finally the company opened a position that they saw as suitable for my skills.

Doostang definitely helped me to network my way into my current position.”



Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

International Research Analyst – Leading Portfolio Strategy Research Firm, New York, NY

Commercial Real Estate Intern – Premier Commercial Real Estate Firm, Los Angeles, CA

Investment Associate – Premier Wealth Management Firm, San Francisco, CA

Marketing Research Analyst – IT Management Software & Solution Company, Boston, MA

Analyst – Leading Wealth Management Company, Miami, FL

Search jobs on Doostang

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