You’ve just come across the perfect job listing. It’s at a great company, you have the right background and professional experience, and it’s at the career level you’re looking for. There’s only one problem: You’re missing an essential required skill.
You might feel tempted to walk away from your dream job because you don’t think you have a shot, even if you believe you could change their mind in the interview. However, if you don’t apply, you’ll never even get that interview, much less an offer. Take this career advice from 12 Forbes Coaches Council members about what your next move should be.
1. Focus On Your Value
Instead of focusing on what skill you don’t have, focus your efforts on selling what you do have. Make your value known by developing a targeted application that directly addresses the employer’s needs. By positioning yourself as a strong, capable candidate — with specific examples of success in the majority of the job requirements — you will make it difficult for the employer to pass you by. – Adrienne Tom, Career Impressions
2. Highlight Your Transferable Skills
A job seeker should show congruence in their resume using transferable skills when there is not an exact match of skills. Look beyond the required skill to identify the qualities needed to perform this skill. These attributes then become the parameters to describe value delivered in previous jobs. This allows the reader to recognize the candidate is ready and qualified to take that next step. – Lisa McDonald, Career Polish, Inc.
3. Demonstrate How You’re Working Toward The Missing Skill
A good employer will evaluate a candidate’s success history, skill set and motivation to work in the future. Demonstrate the effort you are taking to obtain the skill set, and provide a timeline for acquiring it. In the meantime, practice what you are learning. Active action is always impressive and relays the message that you are not resting on your laurels. – LaKisha Greenwade, Lucki Fit LLC
4. If You Think You Can Do the Job, Apply
In my years as an HR leader, I learned most vacancies are filled by people who don’t have all the requirements listed and are still excellent candidates. Many people, especially women, struggle to apply if they don’t tick all the boxes. If you believe you have what it takes to do the job, then apply, and communicate your willingness to close any gaps. – Jean Ali Muhlbauer, The Muhlbauer Companies, LLC
5. Rule Out Impostor Syndrome
When a job seeker is hesitant to apply for a position but is not meeting an essential skill, I remind them to think of ways that they can meet that skill based on previous experience and also reflect on how much the impostor syndrome is at play. It is also important to remember that sometimes there are other team members who can support with that essential skill. – Manpreet Dhillon, Veza
6. Contact The Hiring Manager Directly
When applying to a job posting, you’re going to encounter the most competition for your dream role. Therefore, you’ll need to use LinkedIn or company information to locate a decision-maker or networking contact. Tell them how excited you are to work for them, and present a compelling case for your qualifications. That said, consider pitching their competitors with your skills as a backup plan. – Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CIC, COPNS, CTTCC, An Expert Resume
7. Think About Your Overall Chemistry And Cultural Fit
Throughout my advertising career, three of my clients asked me to interview for positions at their companies. One said that, although I had strong marketing skills, the most important reason I was being considered was how I fit with the culture and people. People make decisions emotionally and post-rationalize it. So, be yourself and allow your character to be considered in the process. – Rosie Guagliardo, InnerBrilliance Coaching
8. Show How Quickly You Can Learn
If you don’t have the skill, then focus on showing the right attitude: an ability to learn quickly. Show examples of where you were successful even though you were outside your comfort zone. Maybe there won’t be a candidate who has the right experience, and if you show a good attitude you are less of a risk. Also, read everything you can to generate expertise, even if you don’t have experience. – Gordon Tredgold, Leadership Principles LLC
9. Apply The 80/20 Rule
It’s rare that you will meet 100% of the skills and qualifications listed for a job. Apply the 80/20 rule: If you meet 80% of the qualifications, apply. Any essential core qualifications are typically listed under “Requirements.” Say they want five years of experience and you have three. Apply. If you can articulate your value and drive, the employer may be willing to accept less experience. – Erin Urban, UPPSolutions, LLC
10. Demonstrate Your Initiative
Own the fact that there is a skill gap. Be transparent and let the company know you are aware you don’t possess that skill but will take initiative and put in the extra time and effort to learn it. Highlight your signature strengths, and tell them you know they will be taking a risk and they will get a return in your effort. People will help you help yourself. – Dr. Rob Fazio, OnPoint Advising, Inc
11. Take Directionally Correct Steps Toward Your Dream Job
Apply and network into the company as you would normally. Make a list of all essential skills that postings are requesting. If you see it listed two or more times, consider a stepping-stone role that is directionally correct toward the ideal role and will give you the experience you need. Then, once you have the skill, launch to your dream job. – Cara Heilmann, Ready Reset Go
12. Communicate Your Passion
People will take a chance on a candidate, even when they are not fully qualified, if they see that the candidate really aspires for the position. When a candidate is not qualified, they have to communicate that they will do everything in their power to grow into the position and become qualified. This is done through passion. – Ken Gosnell, CEO Experience
This article originally appeared on Forbes.