The Difference between Employment Requirements and Qualifications: A Simple Guide to Land Your First Job

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If you are a seasoned professional or a newly-graduated job seeker, you may still think that the term “job requirements” is the same with “job qualifications.” But no, the truth is, they are two different terms. However, we will not only be discussing the main difference between the two words, but we will try and help you, particularly the first time job seekers, to land their first job.

The main difference of requirements from qualifications


There are two important things that employers look for, and these are skills and educational requirements. Skill requirements are any form of experience outside of school or training institution that applies to the job he or she is interested in – these may include experience on an internship at a specific company or industry or a skill or talent that they been born with. In this particular requirement, the duration of exposure is also an important aspect. For example, an applicant has a skill in computer programming and has been used by the applicant for more than three years. The duration or experience that the applicant has in a particular skill is important for employers because this will also form part of their decision whether to shortlist or hire an applicant.

For educational requirements, these are non-negotiable factors that require applicants to have a particular level of educational attainment. These requirements may require someone to have at least a high school diploma or someone to have a bachelor’s degree. These are needed to help the employer in assessing the level of proficiency that an applicant has.


All of the things mentioned above pertain to the meaning of the word “requirements,” and these are all non-negotiable factors. Meanwhile, “qualifications” are the applicant’s traits, skills, and level of educational attainment that match or “qualify” as equals to the various things that the employers require.

What if I don’t have all the qualifications that match the requirements?

For many people, the unwritten rule is to continue to apply even if the qualifications do not match all or are slightly below the requirements that the employers have set. There were several times in the past that people who do not have the necessary qualifications still managed to get the job.

Many employers, as well as a human resource “headhunters,” only make use of employment requirements as a guide on who to recruit. For example, some city colleges accept teachers or associate professors who do not have a teaching qualification or even a teaching degree as long as they have the experience and the necessary subject matter expertise.

How to start job hunting?

You can start your job hunting journey by observing the following steps:

  • Make sure you have edited and updated your resume or curriculum vitae briefly but comprehensively reflecting your experiences and skills;
  • Secure the necessary general pre-employment requirements – including security clearances, identifications, and tax forms;
  • Some of the documents that you need are your birth certificate, mandatory contributions, health contributions, diploma, and transcript of records;
  • Buy a casual and office attires because your job interview will be you “the first impression lasts” card; and,
  • Finally, gain confidence by practice conversing with yourself in front of the mirror.

Try to use various social media tools to find the job that you want. Gone are the days that an applicant will go from one place to another seeking vacancies, now everything is online. You can also use various job search engines, including Jobstreet and Indeed.

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