Q. Sometimes while going through the local newspapers, I come across various job adverts, and just from a cursory glance, one can tell that the company wishes to recruit internally because the requirements are very specific. Does it still make sense to apply for such jobs?
Most organisations advertise externally to secure skills that are lacking internally, otherwise it beats logic to spend money on an external advert when you can promote or transfer from within.
In exceptional cases, there are adverts that are framed to attract candidates from within and outside the organisation and it is these that are likely to be biased to internal candidates.
The worst mistake you can make when looking for a job change is to try and rationalise an advert since you are likely to disqualify yourself and lose a possible career growth opportunity.
My advice is, instead of reading mischief in the employer’s advert, send an application that wows them.
Note the prerequisite requirements of the job, such as academic, experience and professional training and match them to your qualifications. Usually, these are non-negotiable, and if you do not qualify, you are likely not to make much progress if you apply.
Thereafter, check the other desirable skills, competencies and behaviours that compliment key skills to support execution of the role and match them to your capability. This is where some requirements may make specific reference to say, “internal software system”.
The best approach is to highlight your experience with a system that operates in a similar way and demonstrate how this knowledge is relevant and transferable to this role. Emphasise challenges you have encountered while using a similar software, show how you have provided lasting solutions or improvements and state what value you could add if you were appointed to the role. Try and compensate other lacking skills by presenting a plan of how you intend to acquire or upgrade them.
Employers are usually keen on candidates who invest in their own skills improvement than those that bank on the employer’s development programmes.
My experience is that employees who set personal development goals and remain focused on them tend to succeed in their careers faster than those who see it as the employer’s responsibility. So go ahead and apply.
If you lose, you learn and will be better prepared for the next job opportunity.