Job responsibilities are not the same as job requirements

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Job responsibilities are not the same as job requirements

Have you ever come across a great job advert that looks really appealing and sounds right up your street? Then you scroll down… you see the responsibilities section and think to yourself: “There’s things here I haven’t done before!” 

If this has stopped you in your tracks and made you think you can’t do the job because you’re not qualified, then you need to be aware of this – job responsibilities are NOT the same as job requirements! Keep reading to find out more…

1. Job responsibilities

It’s perfectly okay if you aren’t experienced in everything or even in most of the activities listed for the job role – you could still be a really good candidate! Career growth is all about being motivated to try something new and different, and if you have the right soft skills and experience in other areas, employers will know you’re more than likely to be able to pick up new responsibilities. The best hiring managers will always keep an open mind when it comes to reviewing candidates, and if you can show your hunger and experience in other ways – even if you don’t perfectly match with their bulleted list of responsibilities – you could still have a great chance of landing an interview!

2. Job requirements

Instead of getting too caught up by the list of job responsibilities, the job requirements section is where employers will display their ‘deal-breakers’ – actual requirements that you will need to be able to meet in order to progress with the application. But even if you don’t meet all of the requirements, don’t despair just yet – you need to look carefully at the language that they have used in the job description. The secret is that some ‘requirements’ might not be actual deal-breaker requirements, if the section uses phrases such as ‘desirable’, ‘ideal’, or ‘nice to have’, this means that the company will still consider your application even if you don’t have the requested experience. On the other hand, language such as ‘must have’ or ‘essential’ will likely mean that they won’t consider you if you can’t show that you have the exact experience.

Key takeaways:

It’s important to remember that job responsibilities aren’t the same thing as job requirements, and job requirements aren’t always hard requirements. Don’t let a few points of missing experience from a long list of responsibilities be a barrier to your application – if you can show that you’re a cut above the rest with your desire to join the company, a well-crafted cover letter, and factual evidence in your CV that showcases your value, you are already well on your way to securing that sweet interview! At the end of the day, you won’t get hired if you don’t even apply, so don’t get too frustrated at not being a perfect word-for-word match with a job description – companies know that the perfect candidate with all of the requested experience likely isn’t going to apply anyway! 


If you would like more useful job search tips and to maximise your chances of landing your dream job, why not download our free Cover Letter Cheat Sheet! You can also discover when or when not to include a headshot photo on your CV here.

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