Qualifications Aren’t Everything

Though I appreciate the frustration job seekers feel when they believe less qualified applicants beat them out, I’d like to make a point for perspective.

For those of you who aren’t Michigan State basketball fans, I apologize in advance for boring you. As a green-blooded lover of all things Spartan, my mind has been on the recent struggles of the team so close to my heart. You see, they haven’t just been losing, they’ve been losing while playing basketball that doesn’t reflect their true talents and abilities. This year’s team is packed full of extremely gifted athletes. I’m biased, but I still think my assessment is fair. The fact they’ve lost some games they should have won doesn’t make them less gifted. It doesn’t negate the success they had individually and as a team leading up to this season. It doesn’t speak to their future potential. What it does is emphasize how much chemistry, productive collaboration, consistency and that special something no one has really been able to name yet go into the end result of any effort. It’s why teams of supposedly fewer talents, but strong chemistry and focus, can surpass superstars.

Employers aren’t wrong for wanting someone who will click with the existing team. They aren’t always making a mistake to take someone with fewer qualifications if they think that person has the potential to take the team to a higher level. Now, the perfect scenario would be if the most talented candidate also enhances the overall chemistry of the team. I guarantee if Michigan State gets their game together few, if anyone, will be able to stop them. They will have that ideal mix of ability and synergy.

So, if you’re one who has been frustrated about companies not appreciating your skills, consider the possibility it’s not about them failing to realize your talents, but failing to see how you would put those skills to use in an effective way. It doesn’t really matter if it’s about you or about the team. What’s crucial is to dig beyond the qualifications of the job, give attention to identifying what would be a successful addition to the team, ask yourself how well you’d really fulfill that need and sell yourself in a more effective way to the opportunities that seem to be an overall fit.

Oh, by the way…GO STATE!


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