Here at Artisan Creative, we read a lot of job descriptions. I mean, a lot of job descriptions! It’s part of what we do. And we also write a lot of job descriptions.
While we focus more exclusively on helping designers and creatives find jobs with our clients, job requirements, in general, seem to always sound like they’re difficult to meet! Whether it’s an entry-level copywriting position that needs two to three years of experience or a senior designer that needs over 10 years of management experience, job descriptions universally sound hard. Even if something sounds like an ideal fit for your background, there might be something else you’re not as familiar with, like a CMS system or Adobe Illustrator.
So, exactly how important is it that you meet every requirement in a job description? Well, it all depends on your experience level, your education, and special skills. Let’s explore further:
- Experience: If a job listing needs someone with five to seven years of experience, they’re looking for someone who’s experienced. That means those with only one to two years of experience aren’t the best match. However, if you’ve got three or four years under your belt, plus some major accomplishments worth sharing, it might be worth exploring further.
- Education: Among creatives, your degree can sometimes come second to your experience in the field. For instance, if you have five to seven years of graphic design experience but actually got a degree in English, it’s probably fine to apply. However, keep in mind that some companies do require a college degree. Please do list graduation dates and degrees received. If you’re in the middle of finishing a degree, you can always list your degree as “in progress” with an expected graduation date. This info is looked at during background checks, so be as clear as possible.
Generally, a good rule of thumb is that if you meet 75 percent of the requirements listed in the job description, it’s worth applying or talking to your recruiter about your qualification. Your recruiter will have a better idea of a role’s “Must-Haves” versus the “Nice-to-Haves” and can share more insight about the requirements.
Remember, your resume needs to be proofread and highlight your previous responsibilities and achievements, while your cover letter must be effective. If you’re armed with these tools, you’ll be ready to apply to any job you’re qualified for!