Before you apply for a job it is extremely necessary for you to analyze the job advertisement well enough. This analysis will help you save time by seeking a job that best fits your qualifications and capabilities. It will also help you be more prepared when you write your cover letter, resume and give your interview.
Here are some tips on how to understand job vacancy ads:
PARTS OF A JOB POSTING
Job titles have different meanings across industries. Look to the job title for clues about the required experience in this position, the level of responsibility involved, the salary, and the nature of the work.
- This section tells about the type of accomplishments the applicant must have.
- Also known as experience or requirements this section will have the details of the background of the applications.
- This section tells you about the kind of work you are supposed to do once the company hires you.
- Some job postings will phrase the responsibilities in sprawling terms (e.g., “lead the team in generating XYZ”), while others will provide more granular details (e.g., “create weekly report”). If some bullet points don’t seem familiar, that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t apply.
- This section tells about the company’s background.
- Use this information to start your research about the company.
Benefits and Pay:
- Companies rarely reveal the salary explicitly. They generally use terms like “competitive salary” that doesn’t say much.
- As for benefits, companies say that they offer same benefits to all employees.
- Some companies let out the experience level they want the applicant to have.
- You may want to review this alongside the job title
WHAT YOU LOOK FOR WHEN YOU REVIEW A JOB POSTING
The most important requirements that a company wants their potential employee to fulfill are usually listed towards the top.
- Analyze the essential requirements like “knowledge of Excel” carefully and know how to separate them from the requirement of a softer skill such as “detail oriented”
- Keep an eye for repetition. If a posting says that it’s looking for self-starters and then later mentions that they will need to develop independently then you must be ready to work without supervision.
What job description could really mean:
Pay heed on the kind of wording used in the advertisement. For example
- “Self starter and great communication skills” – point towards a leadership role.
- “Good sense of humor” – there will be a lot of punches thrown at you and you must know how to take them in good humor, else you might get frustrated.
- “Entry level position” – you’re about to receive low-pay for a while.
- “Join our fast-paced company” – everyone’s busy so we don’t have time to train you; introduce yourself to the team and figure out what to do.
- “Sales position requiring motivated self-starter” – you’ll have to find leads yourself. Salary based on commission only.
- “Career-minded” – female applicants must be childless (and remain that way).
- “Must have an eye for detail” – since we don’t have dedicated quality control team.
- “Willing to work overtime” – some overtime each night, and occasionally on weekends.
- “Apply in person” – sorry, we can’t accept old, fat or ugly applicants.
- “Problem solving skills a must” – we have plenty of problems waiting for you to solve.
- “Team leadership skills a must” – you’ll bear responsibilities of a manager, minus the appropriate pay and respect.
- “Good communication skills” – you listen to what management tells, figure it out and do it.
- “Ability to handle heavy workload” – whine and you’ll get fired.
- “Competitive environment” – we have the greatest rate of turnover in the industry.
- “Casual work atmosphere” – we don’t pay much to require you to be in ties so you can come in with shirts, shorts, sandals.
- “Salary range between 10,000 – 75,000” – more likely the 10,000 and accept it.
- “Flexible working hours” – can work 60 hours a week and paid for 30
- “Duties may vary” – anyone can assign tasks to you.
- “We are a well-known company” – we just appeared on headlines on a massive tax cheat case.
- “Competitive salary” – we remain competitive by paying less than our competitors.
- “We value our employees” – at least those who aren’t included in the last round of layoffs.
WHEN TO READ JOB DESCRIPTIONS
A job advertisement is the key to finding a job. Before you apply for a job you must review it at the following points:
Look at the advertisement to decide if it interests you and whether or not you should apply for it.
Before writing a cover letter:
Keep your cover letter personalized and highlight the posting.
Before submitting the application:
- Make sure that you have included your cover letter, resume and other requested details before you submit the application.
- Also double check if you emphasized the correct details in the cover letter and if you followed the instructions carefully.
Before an interview:
Read the job description carefully before you appear for the interview to revise the details of the conversation.
A thorough analysis of the job advertisement will aid you in preparing for it the best way you can.