Wharton psychologist Adam Grant's tip for an ‘amazing' cover letter: Admit if you are ‘not quite the fit'

You don't have to check off every single box to land the perfect job, you just need to convince the hiring managers that you are determined to succeed in it.

Wharton psychologist Adam Grant's tip for an ‘amazing' cover letter: Admit if you are ‘not quite the fit'

It can be frustrating to discover that you don't meet all of the requirements. You don't need to tick off all the boxes to get the perfect job. Just convince the hiring manager that you will succeed.

Adam Grant, Wharton organization psychologist

Recently told CNBC "Squawk box"

He told him about a 'amazing cover letter' he had read several years earlier, in which the applicant didn't have all of the listed qualifications. She addressed her shortcomings by admitting she wasn't "quite the fit" instead of ignoring them.

I am not the candidate that you are seeking. Grant's cover letter stated: "I don't possess the years of expertise and these skills." What I have is a desire to learn. "I will prove to you that I'm worth the money if you hire me."

Grant liked how she was honest and confident about her inability to meet the requirements, but also highlighted her abilities to compensate for it.

Grant added, "There are many ways to show both confidence and humility." "She got the position [after her cover letter] and crushed it."

Grant isn't the only one who believes that qualifications should not be the focus of a cover letter. In

A 2020 interview

ZipRecruiter CEO Ian Siegel told CNBC Make It that "showing enthusiasm, showing you've done your research, and showing you want to make a difference" are the three most important things to include in a cover letter.

Art Markman, a psychologist, says you should apply for jobs even if you don't meet the requirements. Markman says that if you are fully qualified for the position you apply for, then you have set your sights too high.


In a 2019 Harvard Business Review article.

It is possible to get a job without having to check off every box. Olympic swimmer Nic Fink will be competing in July 2023

Tell them to get on with it

CNBC Give it his three top tips for how he got a job in engineering despite not having any work experience other than a swimming pool.

Fink, echoing Grant, said that he had been 'completely truthful' in his application process and did not try to minimize them. Fink also focused on the 'intangible' skills he acquired from his previous experiences, which could be transferred to the job he was applying.

Soft skills are becoming increasingly important in the hiring process. They are not industry-specific and can be acquired through a variety of experiences. Some of the most important soft skills are:

Soft skills in demand

like time management and critical thinking can be developed in non-position-specific experiences that you can instead demonstrate in your cover letter.

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