Job Spec Essential Criteria?

I'm trying to change job as I could lose mine soon depending on what happens with the company...

I keep seeing job roles I would like to apply for however, more often than not there is something in the essential criteria stopping me from applying such as more recently "Must be proficient in MS Outlook" but I have everything else the criteria asks for.

I understand that I could apply if this was in the Desirable criteria but I deem Essential to mean you must be good at this now, my partner wants me to just risk it or I will never apply for anything but I'm concerned that I could be found out later if I get the job
 


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  • Sncjw
    Sncjw Posts: 3,504 Forumite
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    Go for it because I went for a job that requires experience in an admin role but I didn't have that. I did a free online course to help boost skills in business admin. 

    I stated in the additional information which is used to give a outline of you that although I don't have experience I am willing to undertake any training courses and by having me you will have someone trained to your business needs.

    You need to spin a negative into a positive. 
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  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,293 Forumite
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    The employer won't have anything to 'find out' if you are honest in your application - just make sure you don't say 'I meet all the criteria you ask for' or anything.  Go for it, and let the employer decide if they really meant essential.  My experience of reading job applications is that lots of people apply without fully meeting all listed essentials.
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  • Soot2006
    Soot2006 Posts: 2,161 Forumite
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    I have a job advert up with very specific qualifications required in the essentials. Not a single applicant had the essential qualification (that's another story as my assistant advertised the job on the wrong platform), but only one of the applicants explained why they might still be a good choice. So, while awaiting for the correct advert to finish, I have decided to interview that person. I really liked teir cover letter and I feel they could be an asset. It just means I can't reject them on the basis of not having that qualification since I already know that and accept it. If they happen to be successful, the probation period would be 9 months rather than our usual 6 months, with a requirement to start working on the qualification and having made some progress in that 9 months. That's what HR told me needed to happen, anyway, after I said I wanted to interview that person!
  • bap98189
    bap98189 Posts: 3,801 Forumite
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    Can you send an Email and put an appointment in your calendar? If the answer is yes, you are proficient in Outlook. They aren't looking for someone who can rewrite the software.
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    Hi, yes I agree with Sncjw, above, go for it! When I was working in Higher Ed we used Outlook all the time, it was our main emailing system and then it also had features for electronic diaries, etc., not difficult stuff at all. If you apply for a job first and then do a bit of research on whatever essential quality they would like you to have, you could find that it's something you would be able to do.Just google whatever it may be in the first instance.

    If you get to interview stage and are asked if you know about whatever it is, then you can truthfully say 'yes' because you'll have read up about it. Maybe even had a trial run of it online.

    If you can get a job but you're uncertain about your ability to do it properly, you're really half way there. The best employers want their staff to be well trained and will possibly send you on courses once you're employed. Just have a try and see what happens. If nothing happens then you've lost nothing. 

    There are quite a few free online courses for all kinds of subjects and some councils even run free IT courses too. My council does. 

    Good luck if you do decide to try for a new job.  
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • bap98189 said:
    Can you send an Email and put an appointment in your calendar? If the answer is yes, you are proficient in Outlook. They aren't looking for someone who can rewrite the software.
    Well you aren't proficient in Outlook if you are not using Outlook to send an email and add an appointment to your calendar.
  • Dakta
    Dakta Posts: 567 Forumite
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    Agree with most of the above, weigh up the spec and if you genuinely do hit most of the criteria and are happy to develop for the rest then I don't see any problem or shame in having a crack.

    Remember when the company writes the ad they have the opportunity to spec their perfect candidate, and I empthasise perfect because writing what your ideal candidate would be is very far removed from practicalities of reality and realistically a lot of the time that perfect match doesn't exist, a lot of companies will aim high sort of knowing the end result might not tick every box but you can't really advertise low wanting to get a better candidate (well it could happen I suppose)

    I used to (possible still do) have the same sort of concern, you'd find a job you like you'd tick every box off except for one thing which might be something that can be resolved quite easily such as being familiar with a certain brand of software and you feel you're wasting your recruiters time by applying but in reality as long as you know the general topic they won't flinch as much as you'd think.

    Main thing is don't lie or exaggerate your abilities because thats easily discovered and fatal to any application

  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,583 Forumite
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    I'm trying to change job as I could lose mine soon depending on what happens with the company...

    I keep seeing job roles I would like to apply for however, more often than not there is something in the essential criteria stopping me from applying such as more recently "Must be proficient in MS Outlook" but I have everything else the criteria asks for.

    I understand that I could apply if this was in the Desirable criteria but I deem Essential to mean you must be good at this now, my partner wants me to just risk it or I will never apply for anything but I'm concerned that I could be found out later if I get the job
     


    Have you any idea how few people ever meet all the 'essential' criteria listed in these job specs? More often than not, a lot of things are included so that if anyone asks for feedback on an unsuccessful application, or challenges their failure to be appointed (unlawful discrimination is such a favourite ploy!), a quick and easy answer is that they did not meet the essential criteria cited.

    As someone has pointed out, if you don't lie/mislead on your application, there is nothing at all to stop you applying and there's nothing to 'find out' at a later date. You might increase your chances if you pick out something you don't currently have and explain what you are doing to meet that particular requirement. Masses of free online courses and you can always sign up for one and then say, with total honesty, that you are working your way through it.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • As a hiring manager I am always looking to see that people meet the essential criteria but there is an understanding that most people won’t meet all of them. 

    I would always encourage making an application anyway- especially when the essential criteria are things that you could learn or pick up easily. 

    Of course some essential criteria are non negotiable ie qualifications or a certain level or type of experience but most things could be negotiable. 

    I would always address this in the covering letter or personal statement, ie if the essential criteria says ‘advanced MS Excel skills’ and I only have some experience I would say ‘I am a proficient user of MS Excel, I am able to use a wide range of functions/formulas, while I may not have an advanced knowledge of some of the more complex functions I am able to locate guidance for these functions online and follow instructions. I would be willing to undertake training to bring my skills up to the required level’ etc etc. 

    More recently I applied for a role that had a postgraduate degree as an essential criteria, I explained that I didn’t have this BUT how my experience was equivalent. I got the job! 

    Good luck! 
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  • MovingForwards
    MovingForwards Posts: 16,903 Forumite
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    If you've used Gmail and other email providers, that's a transferable skill as the recruiter knows you've got basic knowledge and can learn outlook.

    Most places ask for people proficient in Microsoft packages and outlook, as that's what offices and other lines of work use.

    My last job used a disguised 'access' package as their database, I relearnt how to use it on the job as I'd not touched it in over 20 years. The job before that actually used access, I had Google open asking it how I'd do various things in access.

    My current job uses an old outlook for their emails, the first few times putting my out of office on I had to Google how to do it, same with other bits. 

    I've watched YouTube videos to learn how to use Teams and Zoom as I had used other conference packages before. Now I say I can use them.

    I still list every package I can use; I'm not lying as I've not said what level and know there will be something online / internal training which will show me how to do things.

    Also, all the jobs I apply for ask for degrees as essential criteria, I've not got one, nor do I want one, doesn't stop me getting offers.

    The job I'm in I shouldn't have got going through the essential and desirable criteria, I got it purely based on transferrable skills. 

    Some of us wouldn't be in the jobs we are if we didn't put cheeky applications in.

    Just go for it and stop overthinking it.
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