Unqualified for a Job? Here's How You Spin It

College is supposed to prepare you for life after graduation. With whatever is listed under your “education” section, you should be a leg up in landing whatever job or internship you apply for. However, this isn’t always the case, and it’s impossible to know everything. Plus, it’s important to stand out. So it’s essential to know how to market yourself and spin your experience into qualifications that fit the job that you’re interviewing for.

Perfect the Cover Letter

One of the most common ways to do this is in your cover letter. Sometimes your past job experience isn’t enough, but talking about why you should be considered for the position can make you stand out. You have a chance to make a case for yourself, whether you’re describing a more in-depth experience, your personality, or expressing your admiration for the company you’re applying with, getting more personal can help you land the position you really want.

Use Your Resources

Never underestimate the power of networking and who you know. It’s not ideal that it often comes down to this, but having someone who can vouch for you, your character, and your work ethic can be make-or-break. Some people can write you letters of recommendation, take phone calls from employers, or they themselves can be a force in the industry or company that you’re trying to break into.

Related: Building Your Resume

Market Your Soft Skills

Although networking is important, you don’t always require another person to speak on your behalf. It’s important to sell yourself and know your strengths and what makes you different. In my own experience, you can truly spin a degree or any other training you have into something positive for a completely different show. Although I’ve never worked in a theatre, my theatre degree has helped me get other positions by selling myself as a collaborator, a designer, and an analyst with excellent communication skills. Honestly, everyone should come up with some universal skills (“soft skills”) to sell themselves with that can be backed up with experience, just as theatre does so with mine.

Know How to Talk About Non-Professional Experiences

Sure, your educational and professional backgrounds are important, but there are other things that employers look for, and you need to know what those are. Things like travel experiences, being a camp counselor, interests that show discipline, any languages you speak, projects you’ve worked on, and even your presence on social media can be a good thing (sometimes).

If you feel like you're underqualified for a position, don't fret! You can spin yourself to be one of the top applications they see.