Do You Need to Meet Every Requirement in a Job Posting?

Do you need to meet all of the requirements in a job posting?

That’s an excellent question, and a point of pretty extensive debate among tech pros and recruiters. According to a new TalentWorks study, though, job candidates who meet at least 50 percent of the job requirements are as likely to land the interview as ones who meet 90 percent.

That’s a pretty stunning conclusion, drawn from an analysis of 6,000+ job applications across 118 industries. Thanks to that massive dataset, TalentWorks determined that the candidate’s chances of an interview callback start to rise once they meet 40 percent of the requirements—and plateau at roughly the 50-60 percent mark.

“But after that point, you’re in diminishing returns,” read the blog post accompanying the data. “Applying to jobs where they matched 60 percent or more of job requirements didn’t provide any additional boost in interview rate.”

This trend applies to both men and women. “Actually, for women, the chances of getting an interview start increasing as soon as you meet 30 percent of requirements,” the blog added. Moreover, women tend to be more discerning about the jobs they accept, with 64 percent rejecting at least one job where they matched at least 50-60 percent of the requirements, versus 37 percent of men.

When it comes to posted job requirements, many tech pros believe that companies ask for too much. Overwritten “specs” might demand knowledge of dozens of programming languages and platforms, along with an extensive portfolio of skills. Fortunately, even a super-stuffed job description often includes the most vital skills at the very beginning; you can safely concentrate on those “core” ones and ignore the ones that the employer likely considers “nice to haves.”

As hiring experts have emphasized repeatedly over the years, and the TalentWorks data just reinforces, nobody is the “perfect” fit for a job; if you meet most of the skills and requirements, you have a chance at landing the initial interview. That being said, make sure your résumé and other materials mention the skills and technologies detailed in the job description; in this age of increasingly automated résumé-scanning, it’d be unfortunate if you were rejected for a position just because you forgot to include something.

5 Responses to “Do You Need to Meet Every Requirement in a Job Posting?”

  1. Windy City Woman

    When you read job postings, there are often so many requirements that no one could possibly qualify. I think they do that so they can claim that they “can’t find” any Americans to do the job, so they can bring in cheap labor for

  2. Now a days most of the places clients looking only for one requirement: Referral.
    Not bothered about your talent. One reference and then that reference chain of their own…. will fill all positions at client site. The chain make the Client to sponsor the reference not only within US but from anywhere in World with best available visa created by government.

    • First of all, your comment is very hard to understand. Your grammar is awful, and your sentences do not make much sense.
      So based on that, you would probably be disqualified immediately, based on that. It is very important to be able to write coherent, especially in the tech industry.

      As I already wrote, it is hard to understand what you are trying to say. But it seems like you are trying to say that referrals are the most important to get a job. It may work like that in Indian offshore companies, which would explain why we see so many sub-standard developers in that part of the world working with US companies.

      I don’t think you understood the article. It does not matter if the hiring company got your resume through a recruiter, through an ad posted online or through a referral. If the applicant does not have a certain lever of matches when it comes to the requested skillset, the applicant will not be contacted.

      The most important skills in tech today is to be able to read (and comprehend) a text, and to be able to express themselves in proper (and understandable) English.
      By the way, English is not my native language, it is actually the third language I learned.

  3. David White

    Speaking of long job descriptions, one client apologized for the two page, single-spaced job description, saying it was “not so much a job description but more of a letter to Santa Claus.”


    Big Tex, it appears you are very impressed with yourself. Being condescending is unappealing in any language. Ridiculing someone because they do not have the command of the English language is childish and arrogant. If one is unable to assist and help edify someone seeking assistance, it is better to keep one’s mouth closed. A jerk is a jerk regardless of how many languages they may speak!!!