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Suppose I recently found a job posting that works heavily with Technology X, among several other technologies. I have worked with most of the other technologies that they require in a candidate (so I think I really do have a realistic chance at this job, not considering Technology X). While I don't have experience with Technology X, I'd very much like to get some. In a cover letter, I was thinking of writing something like this:

...and I very much look forward to getting the chance to learn Technology X...

After a moment, I was suddenly unsure that this was a good idea. Is explicitly mentioning my lack of experience with Technology X a bad idea, even when framed in the context of enthusiasm to learn? Is there a better way to say this, or should the lack of certain skills (from the job posting) never be mentioned, so as not to draw attention to this lack of skill?

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That wording sounds great - it lets them know that you don't have that knowledge yet, but that you're very interested in learning.

If you've read books about Technology X but haven't gotten the chance to play around with it yet, you might want to add something about

getting the chance to work with Technology X hands-on

If you've worked a little bit with Technology X but have only worked with it on your own personal projects, you might say something about

getting to work with Technology X in a professional setting

Generally, when reviewing a candidate resume, hiring managers will look for someone who has 80-85% of the skills needed for the job, unless they're inundated with candidates who actually have everything. So a lack or two is not going to seriously impair your chances of getting interviewed, especially if you have so many of the other skills.

If you wanted to shore up your chances, though, you might highlight how working with Technology X leverages or intersects with other skills that you already have. That's just more reason for them to see you as someone who'd be able to quickly get up to speed, and thus an attractive interview prospect.

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If a company is not willing to consider candidates that have most of the qualifications, it really doesn't matter. Especially in programming, some people do not have experience with certain technologies because they have a strong aversion to them. It is a good thing to separate yourself from those who hate that technology or just generally feel they could do the job and may have a chance to avoid it all together (assign those tasks to someone else on the team).

The cover letter is a good place to explain why you may not have everything they are looking for, but you're willing to do the extra work to get caught up as soon as possible.

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