Pro Tip: You Only Need To Meet Around 40% of Job Requirements in Order to Apply

Job hunting can be a daunting prospect. There’s the competition, the time it takes to comb through things and apply, and finding the self-worth to believe that you deserve a certain position or pay level before taking the plunge.

If you’re concerned about that latter part, this post should make you feel better – because most experts agree that you only need to met around 40% of requirements to not only apply, but to land a job and be successful at it, too.

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The hiring process is vastly different than it used to be, so if you’re about to jump into the job-hunting waters, here are some tips and things you ought to know before you do.

First, when it comes to your resume, there’s a 75% chance that it’s going to be read by a software program first, not an actual person. If you want to make it past the bots and in front of eyeballs, you’l want to make sure you list key terms and experiences that line up with exactly what they asked for in their job posting.

Second, if you have connections, you should definitely use them – as many as 80% of jobs are filled by networking these days, and around 70% of jobs are not posted at all.

Research shows that it’s your more dormant ties, like people you haven’t seen regularly or don’t know as well, who will be the most helpful. Don’t be afraid to talk to friends of friends, to reconnect with people your parents might have known or even fellow alumni from your high school or college. People you’ve worked with previously can be a great resource, as well.

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If that doesn’t work, try clubs, related organizations, or even your church.

Third, stay on top of listings and apply as soon as they come available. The smaller the group you’re being compared to the better, and don’t worry about whether or not you meet all – or even half – of the listed requirements.

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Once you make it past the bot screening resumes, you’ve got plenty of chances to sell yourself, says Ian Siegel, co-founder and CEO of ZipRecruiter.

“People are making unconscious judgments about your warmth, competencies, and ability to be hired within seconds.”

Here are three tips he suggests that you always follow:

  • Wear something that makes you comfortable and causes you to sit or stand taller. You will appear happier, more relaxed, and confident. Smile and look your interviewer in the eye.
  • Say the interviewer’s name. It makes them feel seen and heard.
  • People love talking about themselves, so find a way to get your interviewer to do the majority of the speaking. Before you answer the traditional “Tell me about yourself” question, remember, they already have your resume in front of them. Lead with a response of “Before I answer that, I just want to say how excited I am to be here. It must be so wonderful to work at such a great company.” Make sure the conversation is like a pingpong game, with a natural back and forth conversational cadence.

If you want more tips and advice like these, you can check out Siegel’s book, Get Hired Now!

Good luck out there, friends.

Looking for a new job can be daunting and can make you feel like quitting before you even get started, but all of the stress will be worth it in the end.