Thursday, November 19, 2009

Am I Qualified?

An Australian news source recently reported on gender and job requirements. According to Australian Dell executive Joe Kremer, women are more likely to pass on applying for a job because they don't think they meet all the requirements, while their male colleagues will apply even if they only meet two or three.

This is not exactly a new phenomenon. In fact, it's something my professors and peers at BU often talked about during class. Men are more likely to overestimate their abilities than women.

But is that necessarily a bad thing?

During the my job hunt over the past few months, I've started to notice a pattern in my own application process. I'm not a modest person, and I am proud of my accomplishments, but I was throwing out applications because I thought I didn't meet all the requirements. I would read through the position, thinking to myself, "Wow, I would be great at this! I already have some great ideas I'd love to implement!" As I scrolled down to the qualifications, however, my confidence would start to wane. "Three years? I only have one. A certificate in design? I only have my Web sites..."

Ultimately, I would put aside that application and start in on the next one, accepting defeat before the race even began.

But that's not me--I don't give up so easily. I am confident, driven and a little stubborn, so why doesn't my job hunt reflect this? After all, the worst that can happen is that I receive a polite but succinct e-mail from HR stating that I am not qualified for the position. Is that so bad that I won't even give myself a chance?

I am smart and talented, and I know digital PR. From now on, I am going to let HR decide if I am qualified, and I am going to stop worrying about meeting all the requirements. I am good enough, but my future employer can't know that unless I apply first.

Photo by Indigo Fish.

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