There is typically going to be a list of mandatory requirements, and a “Dream List” of preferred but not mandatory requirements. Depending on how current the search is, the hiring manager may be open to considering candidates outside of his initial list. If a search is brand new, chances are the company is going to want to keep the parameters of the search pretty tight, until they see what is available. If after a month they have not seen their ideal candidate, they are much more likely to consider candidates with less than they initially required in terms of experience.
A good rule of thumb is if you have within 20% of the mandatory requirements, go ahead and apply.
If you have everything that is listed on mandatory qualifications except the 10 years of industry specific experience required yet have a solid eight years under your belt, it absolutely makes sense to throw your hat in the ring. However, if you are lacking any industry specific experience whatsoever, or an essential component for being able to effectively work in the role such as a degree or certificate, than you are not qualified for the role. With that said, it never hurts to send in your resume, with a note acknowledging the deficient, emphasizing your areas of strength, and inquiring if there may be other opportunities within the organization that you may be a match for.
Source - Read More at: www.execunet.com