Unqualified? Today’s Politics Teaches Us You Can Still Get Hired

unqualifiedCan you get hired for a job when you are unqualified? Sure, it can happen, but it isn’t easy. Unless, apparently, you work at the White House. 

A lot of people decide to do something different and jump into an entirely new career. In order to make this leap, of course, you have to somehow prove that your past experience qualifies you to perform the new job. In order to do that, you have to pass the a 3-question “filter” test performed by most employers:

  • Can he/she do the job? (experience/skills)
  • Does he/she want to do the job? (motivation)
  • Can I also see myself working with him/her? (cultural fit)

Which makes what we’ve seen recently from The White House you wonder: Who is making the hiring decisions?

Still, lessons are there to be learned And here are some job search and career lessons we can all learn from The White House’s recent hiring practices…

It Started At The Top

Selecting a new CEO to implement change in an organization happens pretty regularly. But here’s the difference. The selected CEO candidate has relevant work experience either in the job or in the industry. This means the CEO candidate has implemented change- which is never an easy thing to do.

We elected someone who is supposedly a smart businessman. He’s proven he can grow his business and personal wealth through real estate development and a host of other side businesses. But does that make him a good fit?

First, The President acted as CEO of companies he and his family started.  Next, he was not a CEO of a company that reported to shareholders. And finally, the government doesn’t operate like a business. Our government operates by its own set of rules and policies, many of which are spelled out in the Constitution, and aren’t easily changed.

Unqualified and Ill-Equipped

Some jobs have rules or procedures that you must follow. Without an understanding of these rules, it’s going to be difficult to perform the job appropriately. You’ve just seen what can happen when someone without prior communications experience gets hired for a role that requires such knowledge. Sometimes transferable skills just aren’t enough. This is why employers are so fearful about hiring someone who is unqualified.

Who You Know

As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know (and who knows you).

If you don’t have the qualifications for a job, one way to bypass the applicant tracking system and proceed to the interview phase is to meet people who work inside the organization. This certainly seems to have worked for some recent hires at The White House.

Expect Background Checks

HR policies usually require a background check on a pending job candidate and speaking with several references. There’s good reason for these steps. This vetting is a way to uncover any skeletons that may be in the candidate’s closet. It also uncovers less-than-desirable character traits like dishonesty and exaggerated qualifications.

When Starting A New Job…

If you are starting a new job, want a promotion or just want to hold on to the job you currently have, here are lessons to learn from The White House’s this year:

  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Know the rules of the game and when to break them.
  • Build trust by being truthful.
  • Be a source of inspiration and positivity.
  • Don’t shoot from the hip.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Do not manage by fear and intimidation.
  • Avoid using profanity.

Remember, just because you’re unqualified doesn’t mean you can’t get the job. It just takes a little convincing. Politics has taught us that.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa.


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Hannah Morgan hiring prosAbout the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa. And follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!



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