A recent study found that men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.
It’s not surprising that people who don’t apply to jobs believe they need the qualifications not to do the job well, but to be hired in the first place. They think that the required qualifications are really required. They don’t see the hiring process as one where advocacy, relationships, or a creative approach to framing one’s expertise could overcome not having the skills and experiences outlined in the job qualifications. In other words, what holds people back from applying is a mistaken perception about the hiring process.
This suggests that people need better information about how hiring processes really work. We need to not become too afraid of failure—avoiding it more than is needed, and in ways that don’t serve our career goals. It may also be important to know that a McKinsey report found that women for their experience and track record.
It boils down to this–we may overestimate the importance of our formal training and qualifications, and underutilize advocacy and networking. In short–we need to believe more in ourselves! And, of course, not put too much credence in the “rules”.