There is some flexibility when it comes to meeting the qualifications for a job depending on the employer. It certainly helps to understand if what the employer is willing to offer and what he wants matches with your own needs and experience. This can often be a difficult task as a result of the sometimes obscure language that is typical of many job listings.
Here are some of the more common job listing terms and what they really mean for the job candidates.
Required Skills vs. Preferred Skills
If a job listing says a skill is required its rather firm and the employer is trying to narrow the field. A skill thats listed as preferred means that the candidate doesnt necessarily have to have these skills. Its unrealistic for an employer to expect to find a candidate that meets all of their requirements, and employers will sometimes relax some of those requirements for a candidate who meets at least most of the requirements.
Working Knowledge Of vs. Command Of
If you have a working knowledge of something it means that you understand the basics of how that something works. If you have command of something it means that you have enough experience with that something so that you can explain how it works and use it for a higher level of work or for a more complex project.
Experienced vs. Entry Level
If a job posting indicates that the job is an entry level position it means that the employer is usually looking for a person that has graduated from college as long as 2 years ago. An experienced candidate typically has a graduate degree or has been working in the industry for 3 or more.
If youre still unsure if youd fit in with a company or if your job skills match a particular job, you need to get an inside opinion. You need to try to network within the industry or company in order to meet people who can advise you and answer your questions.
It is critical that you learn all you can about the job itself and the companys culture in any job search. If you do some research youll have an edge over those who are competing for the same position, since youll be confident and prepared when its time for your interview. Competing for a job is no different than the training an athlete does in order to have as sharp an edge as the other athletes.