I just finished my Ph.D. in educational policy and I’m on the job market for next spring. I don’t want to be an academic, so I’m looking at all kinds of jobs in all kinds of places.

I’ve been a teacher (middle school and university) for my entire working career, so I’m not familiar with how non-teaching job searches work. So, here’s my question: how do I know if I’m qualified for a job based on the job description?

I feel like they are written so cryptically that I can never be sure if I’m totally wasting my time applying or if it is a case (as you often write about) of framing my CV differently? For example, should I take the “experience, knowledge and skills” section as non-negotiable?

I am trying to use my Ph.D. to break into a related–but not directly academic–field and I don’t know if my skills translate.