Ask Steve: Insane Lists of Job Requirements And You

Thanks to our own Tamara Hecht for noting a need for this post – and it's a chance for me to launch an experimental "Ask A Progeek" section (thinking of having it organized both for individuals and in general).

So it happened.  You found your perfect job, or come to think of it in this economy, any job.  Anyway, you look at the list of requirements, which almost inevitably is some kind of insane wish list, and you realize you don't meet them.  Yet, you still want that job and indeed can do it.

What do you do? 

First, let me put your mind at ease – if you think that that entire list has to be fulfilled perfectly, you're almost inevitably wrong.  Except in the case of certain scientific, engineering, and legal requirements, you don't have to fill the list out perfectly.  Chances are that list has been through so many hands no one actually cares that much.

Keeping that in mind, there's three things to do:

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