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I am currently trying to apply for a company I really want to work for. It's a mechanical engineering role (I am currently working as a mechanical engineer) but in a new industry for me.

The website is advertising for a Senior Mechanical Engineer, and having read the position description, I am confident that I'd be a good fit, but as a Mechanical Engineer (not senior - as I am not experienced enough yet). The company take open applications as well, so I am definitely applying either way but would it be better to:

  1. Apply for the job advertised, hoping that I get an interview and mention that I am aiming at a non Senior position in the cover letter

  2. Send an open application and mention the role I am specifically interested in.

The reason I am asking is that if I go with 2, I am not sure how to phrase it. It's an open application for a specific role?

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My company actually had the same situation a few months ago, we were looking for a Senior, but in the end hired a mid-range engineer who impressed us.

I would simply apply to the position as listed, and explain in your cover letter why you'd think you'd be a good fit and how you'd really like to work for them. Don't even mention that you don't think you have the "senior" qualifications, let them come to that decision based on your prior experience and act accordingly.

Companies have to pull from the available applicant pool, and while their desire is to have a "senior" hired, a talented, enthusiastic "junior" who is eager to learn and impress sometimes is equally as good.

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