This handy little phrase is related to job descriptions. It generally means one of two things:
- That you don't have a particular university or college degree, but you have worked in a related field long enough to have learned the associated skills at the school of hard knocks. This is a legitimate way to meet a job description's requirement, assuming of course you can back it up.
- That you have experience that's almost the same as what a job posting requires, but in a slightly different area. That is, you are confident that you can very quickly pick up the skill in question because you have a fundamentally similar skill set. In this context, the phrase is used by an applicant in a cover letter to try and convince the application screener to pass you through, even though they can't tick the little check box beside a specific skill. Like anything else you put into a job application, you need to be able to back it up in an interview.