What Does Preferred Mean In A Job Description
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Preferred mean in job description is qualifications, skills, or experience that are not required but would be advantageous for the role. Meeting preferred qualifications can make a candidate more competitive, but not having them may not disqualify someone from applying.

In this guide we will explain in details what does preferred mean in a job description, different preferred qualifications and strategies for meeting preferred qualifications.

What Does Preferred Mean On A Job Posting

What Does Preferred Mean In A Job Description

Preferred mean on a job posting are the attributes that the employer would like candidates to have, but they are not necessarily required for the job.

For example, a job posting might say something like, Bachelor’s degree in a related field preferred, which means that having a bachelor’s degree in a related field would be an advantage, but candidates without that degree may still be considered for the position.

Moreover, preferred qualifications are desirable but not mandatory, and applicants who meet them may have a better chance of being selected, but not meeting them doesn’t necessarily disqualify a candidate from applying or being considered for the job.

Preferred Qualifications Meaning

Preferred qualifications meaning is the extra skills and experience of a candidate, but they are not mandatory for the job.

you have seen in job posting both required qualifications and preferred qualifications listed. Required qualifications are the minimum qualifications that a candidate must have to be considered for the position, while preferred qualifications are the additional qualifications that would make a candidate stand out or be particularly well-suited for the role.

Candidates who possess preferred qualifications may have a competitive advantage, but it’s not a strict requirement for the job.

Preferred Qualifications Examples

1. Education

A common preferred qualification is a specific level of education. For example, a master’s degree may be preferred for a managerial role. While having one can be advantageous, it’s not a strict requirement.

2. Certifications

In some industries, certifications are preferred but not mandatory. For instance, a project management certification can enhance your application for a project manager position.

3. Experience

Experience preferred meaning is that the employer or organization would prefer to hire someone who has previous experience in a similar role or field. When you see this in a job posting, it suggests that having relevant experience is not a strict requirement, but candidates who have it are more likely to be considered for the position.

4. Skills

preferred skills in job description meaning is those qualities that are desirable but not essential for the job, and having them can enhance a candidate’s chances of being selected for the position.

Why Employers Use Preferred Qualifications

Employers include preferred qualifications in job descriptions for several reasons:

  • To attract candidates who possess advanced skills
  • To differentiate between candidates
  • To set a higher standard for candidates who exceed the minimum requirements
  • To find individuals who align with the company’s culture and values

By using preferred qualifications, employers aim to identify candidates who will thrive in the role and contribute to the company’s success.

The Impact of Preferred Qualifications

Meeting preferred qualifications can set you apart from other candidates. It demonstrates that you have gone above and beyond the basic requirements and are ready to excel in the role. However, failing to meet these preferences does not necessarily disqualify you, as long as you meet the required qualifications.

Strategies for Meeting Preferred Qualifications

If a job lists preferred qualifications you don’t currently possess, it doesn’t mean you should give up. You can employ several strategies:

  • Pursue additional education or certifications
  • Gain relevant experience through internships or side projects
  • Showcase transferable skills that can compensate for specific qualifications

It’s all about demonstrating your commitment and potential to grow within the role.

Meeting Both Required and Preferred Qualifications

Your primary focus should be on meeting the required qualifications, as they are non-negotiable. However, if you can also fulfill some of the preferred qualifications, it will strengthen your chances to get the job.

How to Address Preferred Qualifications in Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter is an ideal place to address preferred qualifications. You can explain how you meet or plan to meet these preferences, showcasing your dedication to becoming the ideal candidate for the job.

Here’s an example of how you might incorporate a preferred qualification into your cover letter:

I noticed in the job posting that you are looking for a candidate with strong project management skills. In my previous role as [Your Previous Position] at [Previous Company], I successfully managed a cross-functional team to deliver [Specific Project] ahead of schedule and under budget. This experience has honed my ability to plan, execute, and oversee complex projects, making me well-prepared to contribute to the success of [Company Name].”

Preferred Qualifications in Cover Letter Example

By effectively addressing the preferred qualifications in your cover letter, you can make a compelling case for why you’re the right candidate for the job and increase your chances of landing an interview.

Tips for Crafting Your Preferred Qualifications

When crafting your preferred qualifications, keep the following in mind:

  • Be honest about your qualifications.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning.
  • Highlight transferable skills.
  • Emphasize how your unique experiences make you an excellent fit for the role.


understanding what preferred qualifications mean in a job description is a game-changer. It allows your application to stand out from the competition, and demonstrate your commitment to going the extra mile. While not mandatory, meeting these preferences can greatly enhance your chances of landing your dream job.

Remember that while preferred qualifications are not certain, they can be the key to get the job. Showcase your dedication, and watch your career soar.

Related article: What Does Referred By Mean On A Job Application: Explained

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I apply for a job if I don’t meet all the preferred qualifications?

Yes, you can still apply as long as you meet the required qualifications. Preferred qualifications are desirable but not mandatory.

2. Should I mention my progress in meeting preferred qualifications in my application?

Yes, addressing your commitment to meeting preferred qualifications in your cover letter can be beneficial.

3. What if I exceed the preferred qualifications?

Exceeding preferred qualifications can significantly boost your chances of being selected for an interview.

4. How can I gain experience in areas listed as preferred qualifications?

You can gain experience through internships, volunteer work, or personal projects related to the desired qualifications.

5. Are preferred qualifications the same for all job listings?

No, preferred qualifications vary from job to job and industry to industry. It’s essential to read each job description carefully to understand the specific preferences.

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