I had a bit of a learning experience today while applying for a position as a Web Developer at a university. The job had as a minimum qualification, 3-5 years full-time web-development experience. I’ve seen in many places where people are encouraged to apply for jobs, even if they don’t meet the minimum requirements, so I thought, “Why not apply for this one?” Well, after spending my entire morning filling out forms, preparing a page with my projects and a well-crafted cover letter, and then submitting those forms, I was presented with a radio button questionnaire that asked if I met the minimum experience requirement. I saw no other option but to be honest and put “no”, and then submitted my application. Then, I got an automatic response saying that I didn’t meet the minimum requirements and would not be considered for the position. I called the HR department and they basically told me I was out of luck. I wish they would have asked that question at the beginning so I didn’t waste my whole morning.
So, yes, I know that we should take a chance and apply for jobs that may not quite be a fit, but I just want to warn others that at least for university jobs, they are real sticklers about the minimum qualifications, and you might end up wasting several hours of your day.
I hope at the very least my mistake will help save someone else a little time.