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  • Writer's pictureTim Buchalka

Applying for Programming Jobs You’re Not Qualified For

When looking to get your first programming job, it’s not uncommon to see that the typical job description or advert about a job lists all these skills that you may not have. So the question here is are you still able to go for that job and is there any likelihood that you can get it without those skills? Let’s talk about that today.

The question is, if there’s a programming job out there and it lists all these skills in their job description or the advert about the job and you feel that you haven’t got many or any of those skills, is it still a possibility that you personally can apply for the job and secondly what chance do you have of obtaining that job?

Well, to start off answering that question it does really depend on the position. Now if they’re looking for an experienced java developer whose got skills in various technologies and you know perhaps 10 years of experience, if you’re a beginner and you haven’t programmed before, you’ve never programmed commercially before, you don’t have anything to show in your resume, that might be outside of the scope of your possibilities in getting a job. But look it’s not uncommon today for even entry-level programming positions to be advertised as needing all these skills. And even though sometimes they’ll say essential, essential often means, it would be nice.

So they’d like you to have those skills, but they are either the highly desirable in other words. So in those scenarios, if you think you’ve got a good portion of those skills or you’ve got some of those skills, if I were you I’d probably still apply for the job. Two reasons for that. Firstly, you might still be the person who’s most qualified who applies for the job because other people in your situation who don’t know any better might think, oh I haven’t got those skills and therefore they don’t apply. So in other words the people who do apply for the job might be, you know a lot smaller, then the group of people might be a lot smaller as a result of that. But secondly, more importantly, it’s really great from an experience view point to go through the process of applying for a job and hopefully getting an interview, but even if you get rejected at that first level to try and get some feedback about what’s going on and about what you needed to do. Because if you think about it from the employer’s perspective, they’re looking to find the most experienced person who’s got the most skills that are possible and obviously to pay them the least amount of money, so they’ll try and cram all these things into a job description in some cases.

Particularly larger companies that have got human resource departments, and if they’ve got people who are putting the job descriptions together who aren’t necessarily programmers, and you’ll find they try and cram all these industry buzzwords, the skills and stuff into the position, but when you come time to be getting an interview, going through the interview process, you would usually find someone who’s a programmer and that they’ll generally understand more that you know, this is an entry level programming position. They won’t expect you to have all these technologies. So in general, now look at the list of requirements and if you think you’ve got a good portion of those or you think in general you feel quite confident about them then I would still apply for the job. And look even if you’re not feeling confident, it could still be a good opportunity for you to apply anyway for the reason I mentioned earlier, just to get that experience. So don’t give up, don’t look at the position and think that if they’re asking for twenty skills and you’ve only got five of them, therefore you shouldn’t apply. If you think that based on the general gist of what the job description about that or for that programming position was, you feel you could do a good job with that, personally in my opinion I would recommend you to apply for that job anyway and see how you go and you learn a lot in the process.

I hope that helped if you’ve got any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

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