We’ve all been there: scanning through the job boards online and the advert section in the local newspaper to try and find a job description that sounds familiar enough and like something we’d be able to do. It’s a long game, one that can really get you down, and a lot of the time, there’s quite a bit of jargon you simply can’t get on with.
If you’re someone who’s just swinging into the career game, with your head held high and your prospects open, let’s keep your confidence in high spirits as long as possible! The best way to do that – find out what those job advert descriptions are really telling you, and whether they’re worth the time and effort you’re willing to put into them. There’s no point stepping into an interview when you don’t know what you’re doing!
Pay Attention to All the Information
The information in the job description has all been chosen on purpose, and you’re not going to want to ignore anything it says to you. Every word was carefully crafted to make sure some kind of message got across, and you need to be able to identify this. Evaluate any job description you come across holistically, to make sure you’re seeing the full picture of the job you want to try out for.
If they offer you a Smart Pension program in the benefits section, what parallels this in the requirements section above it? Do all these requirements logically fit together in your head? Do you think they’re offering a good salary, or is it negotiable? Simply put, know what the green and red flags are, and how they rub together.
Consider Both Sides
For both you and the company, that is. You two have different perspectives on what a job advert is offering you – for example, the idea of ‘flexible working hours’ might be a big win for you, but the company sees it as a way to get you to work long hours one day and short hours the next. Overall, it might not be a stable work schedule, and if that’s an issue for you and your lifestyle, you’re going to want to move on.
Have this kind of mindset about all the employee benefits they offer you in the paragraph at the bottom of the description. If you’re given the ‘ability to grow’, remember that it’s going to take a lot of time and effort, and you’ll probably be in the job for a couple of years before any opportunity is thrown your way. If you’re required to ‘work independently’, this may be a sign that the position has been quickly thrown together to fill a gap in the company, one without clear direction or leadership. Even if you like working independently, take this option with a pinch of salt!
That job advert might be good, it might be bad – make sure you’re able to decide on this.