A Java Developer job post has the following "Essential" requirements:

  • Experience in SQL and PL SQL programming as required by the Java applications.
  • Experience in implementing standard Java and JEE design patterns and best practices.
  • Skill in programming with HTML, XML, Java, C language in UNIX environment, EJBs, Java script, Ajax, Jasper reports, REST and SOAP based web services, Oracle SQL and PL/SQL, Java5 and above, JEE version 5 and above.
  • Experience in SOA based application design and development.

For example, an applicant does Not have all the above skills. He/she only has these skills:

SQL, Java, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

Does it mean he is NOT eligible to apply? If he is eligible to apply, is it highly likely that he will NOT be taken for the job?


No one has a crystal ball. No one here can tell you whether an applicant will be hired, even if they do have all the "essential" skills for a job.

Many job reqs are written with every IT keyword in the world thrown in there because the role (at some point) may have been well-served by someone who could do all those things. Recruiters and hiring managers think they're casting a wide net for highly skilled people when all it really does is intimidate people who have a subset of the skills they're looking for into NOT applying for the role.

If you're interested in trying, submit an application and try to get an interview. If you're dealing with a recruiter, try to get whatever information you can to see if the position is worth your time. If you manage to get an interview, nail down the real specifics of the day-to-day work with the hiring manager and ask substantive questions about the skill sets they need you to have strong when you walk in the door vs those that you can develop in the role.


You can apply, but don't expect to gain an interview.

These requirement being labelled "essential" means they're essential skills.

You might be able to demonstrate your suitability with the gaps there, but it's likely that the employer will want all of the skills listed.

  • 2
    Back in my day, job adverts used to have headings for "desirable" and "essential". "Essential" usually meant essential back then... Maybe I'm just old and people can just ignore the real meaning of words these days. – user44108 Mar 23 '18 at 14:23
  • It's far from silly to think that someone would mean what they say. It's merely been my experience, again, largely limited to smaller companies. This experience comes largely from the hiring side (albeit hearsay). Other reasons can include keyword loading for SEO. Dirty practices. You'd perhaps be surprised at the number of times I've seen "N years of experience in Framework X essential" where the age of Framework X < N... – msanford Mar 23 '18 at 14:32
  • @msanford. What did you mean by this: ''Software developer offerings often list skills that are only desirable as essential.'' – kaly Mar 23 '18 at 15:13
  • @msanford. You said -- ". In my experience, it's driven a misguided belief that talent acquisition is like a negotiation: ask for more than what you actually want and settle for less"" By this, you meant that the company MUST NEED the skills I mentioned? – kaly Mar 23 '18 at 15:16
  • @kaly No, it means what I wrote: 'ask for more than what you actually want and settle for less'. Meaning that they will ask for A B C D skills but will actually accept A B and C. Just apply, the worst they can say is "No thanks" (or just nothing). – msanford Mar 23 '18 at 17:29

You are always eligible to apply to a job opportunity.

The list provided is only an example of what you would/could do on that job. It allows you to know if you would fit in the job.

A long list also have more chance to contain searched keywords and thus reach more potential new hires.


You can apply for anything, like Adidas says "Impossible is nothing".

You could get the job and during X month you are under trial, so they can fire you during that time. Usually if they sign a person that hasn't got all the skills, companies tends to understand.


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