I don’t fit all the job criteria: Should I still apply?


Planned Resources recruit across the niche markets of planning, engineering, architecture and design, property, and government support. We operate​ across private and public sectors in Melbourne, Victoria, and Australia. Here, Brede Larsen give his tips on how to approach a job application when you don’t fit all the criteria.


Applying for a job can be a daunting task, especially when you feel like you don’t fit all of the criteria listed on the job description. 

However, it’s important to remember that many job listings are written with a certain ‘type’ of candidate in mind – and that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not a good fit for the role.

Here are a few tips for applying for a job, when you don’t fit all the criteria.

Tailor your resume and cover letter 

When applying for a job, it’s important to tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific role you’re applying for. This means highlighting the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job, and downplaying those that aren’t as important in the role. For example, if the job listing is asking for someone with experience in a certain industry, but you don’t have that experience, focus on the skills you do have that are transferable to that industry.

Emphasise your unique qualifications 

Even if you don’t fit all of the criteria listed on the job description, you may still have unique qualifications that make you a great candidate for the role. For example, if the job description is looking for someone with a specific degree, but you don’t have that degree, you may have other qualifications that are just as valuable. Highlight any relevant certifications, training, or volunteer experience that you have and that may not be listed in the job description.

Detail your enthusiasm in the cover letter 

It’s great to highlight your enthusiasm for the role in your cover letter. Explain why you’re excited about the opportunity and how you believe you can contribute to the company. Showing that you’re passionate about the role and enthusiastic about working with the company can go a long way in making up for any qualifications you may be lacking.

Highlight transferable skills 

If you don’t fit all the requirements listed on the job ad, it’s important to highlight your transferable skills that can be applied to the role. For example, if you’re applying for a sales role but you don’t have specific sales experience, you can instead highlight your experience in customer service or any other role where you have worked with customers.


Networking is another important aspect of job searching. Reach out to people who are working in the field, or who work at a company you’re interested in. They can provide valuable insights, and can be a great reference when you’re applying for a job.

It’s not impossible!

In conclusion, applying for a job when you don’t fit all the criteria can be a daunting task – but it’s not impossible. By highlighting your unique qualifications, emphasising your enthusiasm for the role, and tailoring your resume and cover letter, you can show potential employers that you’re a great fit for the role.


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