I see this often, in young people just starting out, and plenty of people who’ve been around a bit longer and should know better. They look at a job posting, and find the one thing that rules them out, instead of seeing the bigger picture.
Practically speaking, it’s useful for almost everyone to treat job ads as though they are a set of guidelines about what a position involves, not a strict list of requirements that any applicant must have. It is important, of course, to have at least some of the skills a job requires up front. But nobody should limit themselves only to positions for which they are already overqualified.
The article ends with that message, which I think is a good one, but I would also recommend reading it all, there’s a lot of useful information, and examples where people who feel like imposters at their current job, or overthink the application process, which I agree does seem to be something women do more often than men. (Ladies, care to chime in on some of the reasons why that is? I don’t want to speak for you.)
The thing I try to remember as I look at a job posting, is that this is the wish list. If the company could find everything on this list, in one person, at the salary they have to spend on it, that person will get the job.
BUT, and it’s a huge but, there’s also a really good chance that person is a fantasy that doesn’t exist in the real world, and the company is going to end up with the best person who applies. That could be you. It might not be, but there’s no way of knowing that ahead of time. Might as well apply. I’ve submitted many an application knowing that, if they could find someone who fit criteria 1-10, while I was only hitting on 7 or 8 of them, then hey, good for them. No worries, no hurt feelings, but I might as well see what happens if they don’t find that magical unicorn. We may just find that we’re a good fit for each other.
Of course, I understand that no one likes to get rejected, and every rejection hurts, even when you just submit an application and never hear anything. Sadly, that is the reality of job-hunting. You have to keep putting your resume out there, and hoping that eventually you are the best person who applies. Not applying in order to limit the number of times you get rejected is not the way to win at this game.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a connection at the company as well, a really good reason to continue to grow your network.