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Pro: I already freelance for this place. Con: Maybe unqualified for FT opening there.

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Old 6th November 2017, 10:06 AM   #1
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Pro: I already freelance for this place. Con: Maybe unqualified for FT opening there.

I'm a freelance writer/editor who works for a few different clients on a regular basis. But lately I've been looking for a full-time job with benefits.

So one of my clients, a news site that I work for two hours each day, just posted a job listing for a new FT position. I'd like to apply.

HOWEVER: I acknowledge I'm not a stand-out applicant for this particular job, which is a competitive one that will yield probably hundreds of applications. I'm missing the mark on a couple of the qualifications. At the same time, I'm within the realm of possibility, and I know my prior relationship with the company and my knowledge of their subject matter does give me an edge, so feels worth exploring.

I'd love some input on whether this approach seems reasonable:

I'll email the two supervisors I work for daily, saying I saw X listing and I'm interested, but would like your opinion first on whether my qualifications are a match for pursuing this. If they say yes, I proceed with their blessing to send in my application through the main HR office. If they express doubt, I say "no biggie" and back off.

My other option would be applying directly to HR, without the more nuanced approach with my supervisors. (In which case, I'd tell them afterwards, "Hey, heads up, I applied to this.")

While the latter approach would certainly express more confidence, I worry that it could veer toward arrogance, and could also create awkwardness in my existing relationship with this place.

Any thoughts?
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Old 7th November 2017, 4:18 AM   #2
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Definitely leverage your existing relationships. Do both supervisors have the same relationship to the role advertised and are they both of equal seniority in the company? If not I would just approach the more relevant or senior one.

Do not frame it with 'do I have the right qualifications', that is focusing on your potential weakness in the situation, no need to do that to yourself. Consider something more generic and positive, perhaps something like

"I really enjoy the freelance work I do for you and would like to be considered for the role of xxxx you are advertising at the moment. With my existing experience and established relationships do you think I could be a good fit for the position? Is there anything I could do to strengthen my application? I would greatly appreciate your feedback." etc
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full for language & ideas, even the phrase 'each other' doesn't make any sense. - Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
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Old 7th November 2017, 10:12 AM   #3
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I'd definitely approach your supervisors first, assuming you feel they have a generally positive view of you, as they may well be decision makers or in the loop and could even help advance your candidacy assuming they consider it a fit. Many experts say you should feel fine about applying even if you match only 60-70% of the job description.

I'd suggest a confident, forthright approach. It's not arrogant to have ambition or to think you could do a job more senior than the one you're doing now.

Great advice at Askamanager, I recommend every job seeker head over there. Good luck!
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