In applying to jobs or aspiring to a new position in our organization, we scrutinize the job posting carefully, noting every time we can place a check mark (Hurrah! I’ve got that one!) beside a qualification and every time we come up short we cross it out (Darn! Missed that one!).
This is based on the belief that The Perfect Employee is always out there, and will end up with a resume or work history replete with check marks and nothing crossed out, right? So, if you come up short, don’t waste your time. In this competitive job market, they will always be able to get exactly what they want and you aren’t it! Wake up and smell the java!
Without putting too fine a point on this, can I just say “Balderdash!”? (A great word, look it up, if necessary). Stated simply, the Panoply (another great word) of qualifications listed is, indeed, the ideal candidate, but it’s not fixed in stone. If you are able to match a significant number of the qualifications and don’t come up short on any of the “Deal Breakers” (like a holding a CDL, legal certification, own your own X-ray machine, etc.), my counsel is to “Go for it!”
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by throwing your hat in the candidate ring. I once challenged a group of HR types on a panel I moderated: “Do you really need all of the qualifications cited in your ad and, if you don’t, why are they there?” The answer I received was the one I expected. As HR representatives (often a noble and challenging profession, to my way of thinking), they are tasked with the responsibility of finding the best candidate they can for their organization. This list of skills, experiences, aptitudes, etc. is designed to seek out the best possible fit between the person and the position. They may or may not get all they want, but they must ask!
Presenting yourself as a qualified applicant who meets a number of the qualifications (even though you may not knock it out of the ballpark) allows them to consider you, something they cannot do if you don’t apply!
So, to revisit my question – “How do you become the perfect candidate?” – I must respectfully respond, “I’m not sure you can!”
I am sure, however, that you may become an excellent candidate when you make your strongest case for getting the job done!