Thursday, November 20, 2008

Missing Skills on a Resume

On your resume, what should you do if you're missing some of the required skills listed in a job posting? Let's say you meet 90% of the required qualifications, but you're missing the other 10%. Should you mention this in your cover letter and try to explain why it is not a concern? Or is it best to be tacit on the issue and hope it's overlooked, and you can deal with it in the interview process (if you get that far)?

Ask yourself how you will compensate for the missing skills once you're on the job. Are you a quick study who will pick them up? Are you looking for a management job in which you can delegate those tasks? Are you planning to take a course in your extra time to come up to speed?

If you have a plan for bridging this gap, say so discreetly in your resume, without mentioning specifically that you don't have specific qualifications. For instance:
- In your Summary section you could say: Quick study, especially in such-and-such areas.
- In a Summary statement you could refer to your "Skill at delegating responsibilities effectively."
- Under Education you could list the course you've just enrolled in, which will cover the missing qualification.

If you really want this job and the missing skill is highly relevant, find a way to pick up the skill quickly so you can add it to your resume. If you can't, then avoid the issue all together and keep your fingers crossed that you'll get an opportunity to discuss it in an interview.

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