Is it necessary to have all skills asked in advertisement to get a post doc.? I have very ordinary PhD and due to COVID I spent very little time in lab , although I leant some techniques bit I can’t say I am an expert in these area but I am ready to learn and move ahead. Can I apply positions where I don’t have all asked skills? Any kind of training provided in post doc positions

  • In my institution's listing there are 'required' and 'desired' attributes. If 'required', well, those are required. If 'desired', those are the set that are evaluated to downselect for an interview.
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 15, 2021 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


Yes, of course you can apply. Whether you'll get the job depends on how close you come to what they really need and how you compare to the other applicants. When writing up a job description, people sometimes fantasize about all the skills and years of experience and other wonderful characteristics of the perfect candidate. But if they'd like to hire anyone, they can only choose among the actual living, breathing candidates who apply.

So, yes, it's often possible to get a job for which you don't appear to qualify, especially if you bring something else to the table that makes up for anything you lack. But first, you have to apply and see what happens. One thing you should not do is puff your resume with false claims to make it appear you have the skills you lack. You are who you are and that will have to be good enough. Worst case, they say no or just ignore you.

  • 1
    (+1) Good answer, but I know someone who inflated their skillset and then left the job shortly before they would have been let go. The inflation, in my opinion, was not all that great. But the employer really did want the competence they thought they were hiring.
    – Ed V
    Nov 14, 2021 at 22:57
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    @EdV Good point. I've edited my answer incorporate that. Thank you. Nov 14, 2021 at 23:12

Since the literal question is "Can I apply..." the answer is yes. Hopefully you will be honest about your skills as it would be a problem if you overstate them, only to be found out later.

But, you can't know "everything", and your training should have prepared you to learn things fairly rapidly.

Another aspect is that you probably aren't alone in having your studies disrupted to some extent by COVID.

In the book Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, the young Siddhartha gets a job by essentially suggesting that he can learn what is needed and has the skills and patience for that: “I can think. I can wait. I can fast.”

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