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Thread: Applying for a job when you feel significantly under-qualified?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    133

    Applying for a job when you feel significantly under-qualified?

    I got sent an email from my Student Admin Officer for a paid work experience position with SEQwater. They are after a:

    3rd or 4th year

    Urban and Environmental Planning
    Regional Planning or
    Environmental Science Student

    2 weeks full-time during holidays
    1 day a week during university

    ...The student will see aspects of catchment planning, third party advice provision, and environmental monitoring.

    The situation is I have never studied catchment planning, assisted in environmental monitoring and have no idea what third party advice provision is.

    They have requested a resume and a cover letter which I am having trouble writing as I don't think I am suitable. Should I even bother applying and if so, should I be honest about my suitability for the role? What aspects should I highlight in my cover letter?

    Thanks in Advance

    =Good for me
    We architects and urban planners aren't the visible symbols of oppression, like the military or the police. We're more sophisticated, more educated, and more socially conscious. We're the soft cops.- Robert Goodman, After the Planners My Planning Forumino

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Colo Front Range
    Posts
    2,576
    Quote Originally posted by Woolley View post
    I got sent an email from my Student Admin Officer for a paid work experience position with SEQwater. They are after a:

    3rd or 4th year

    Urban and Environmental Planning
    Regional Planning or
    Environmental Science Student

    2 weeks full-time during holidays
    1 day a week during university

    ...The student will see aspects of catchment planning, third party advice provision, and environmental monitoring.

    The situation is I have never studied catchment planning, assisted in environmental monitoring and have no idea what third party advice provision is.

    They have requested a resume and a cover letter which I am having trouble writing as I don't think I am suitable. Should I even bother applying and if so, should I be honest about my suitability for the role? What aspects should I highlight in my cover letter?

    Thanks in Advance

    =Good for me
    Since you don't have information on what exactly they are looking for, you cannot say with certainty that you are unsuited. Do some homework and get typing.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    77

    Focus on transferable skills ...

    Like ColoGI said, get the info about what those topics are all about, then look at your existing knowledge, skills and abilities and focus on how those KSA's translate into doing that job. Internship experiences are invaluable and in some cases, while you may not know how to do the job at hand right off the bat, the learning process may result in you finding something that interests you and helps you get a full time job in the future! Go for it either way - let the employer decide if you are a good match. And remember - sometimes these are moments when you simply need to be your own "salesman." If nothing else comes of it - the interview process is invaluable in itself. That can help you prepare for the next interview situation with less anxiety. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Remote command post at local bar
    Posts
    9,129
    I'd say go for it. You never know what the employer is looking for, or what kind of people are applying for the job. You may end up the most qualified even with no experience. Besides, it's an internship, the shouldn't expect you to know everything.

    Also, internships can be worth a lot. I had a minor internship with a city that I thought wasn't worth much, but the city I applied for thought it counted for a lot more experience than I think I got from it.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  5. #5
    Even if you don't get it, the interview experience will be worth it.

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