By Courtney Connley
CNBC, Make It, April 19, 2019.
A tight labor market — like the one we’re in right now — presents the perfect opportunity for you to find a new job.
It’s also a great time to land a job that could be a good fit but for which you don’t meet all of the desired requirements.
Today, 84% of HR managers say their company is open to hiring an employee whose skills can be developed through training. Additionally, 62% of employees who applied for a job they were underqualified for said they still received an offer.
That’s according to recent survey done by human resource consulting firm Robert Half, which asked more than 300 HR managers and more than 2,800 U.S. workers questions about their hiring and job search practices.
“This is your time to apply to things that you dream of, because employers are hungry,” Robert Half District President Josh Warborg tells CNBC Make It. “It is a job seekers’ market. So find something that you really want to do — that you can fall in love with — then shoot for it.”
Warborg adds that when applying to a job that you feel underqualified for, you should do your best to tailor the skills and experiences that you do have to what the job posting is asking for.
“That doesn’t mean make things up or embellish qualifications,” he says. “But I do believe there are job seekers out there who create a resume and don’t change it. My advice is that you always amend and change it to make it applicable to a particular job and a particular employer.”
The same goes for your approach to an interview. Warborg says you should tailor your answers to the needs of the job without fabricating what you can bring to the table.
“Be candid about what you have and have not done,” he says. “Be enthusiastic about the skills you do have and [enthusiastic] about learning the skills you don’t have. Employers like to see that a prospective employee has an eagerness and willingness to learn and grow.”
In fact, he says, in most cases, employers know that “there is no such thing as a perfect hire.” He says “they know they are going to have to do some kind of training or some kind of development to help a person build.”
Indeed Hiring Lab research director Martha Gimbel agrees. She says that in today’s labor market, “employers are having to look at workers that they might not have looked at in the past, and that includes the long-term unemployed.”
Her advice for any professional who is looking to win over an employer is to think “how their skills can transfer across a lot of different types of jobs” and to avoid getting trapped in the mindset that ”‘because I did this before, that’s therefore the area I need to stay in.’ ”
Courtney Connley is a careers reporter for CNBC Make It and former careers editor at Black Enterprise magazine.