What to Look for When Reading a Job Posting

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Reading through an entire job posting can save you a lot of time and effort! Job searching can feel like a job on its own and if you don’t take the time to read carefully, you could miss out on important details that could influence your decision to move forward. Carefully reading a job ad will not only help you decipher if it’s a job you are interested in, but also if it’s a job you are properly qualified for.

Evaluate the Fit

So, you found a job posting and it sounds like something you would enjoy doing! But are you a good fit? Do you have the experience they are looking for? Are there phrases like ‘you must have’ or ‘mandatory skills’ or is there some flexibility in qualifications with descriptions like ‘preferred’ or ‘desired’? Are you confident you can do the job as described? If so, then put the time in to submit a proper application and consider exploring networking opportunities to make sure you stand out from other applicants.

Company Culture

You can typically get a good sense of the type of work environment in the initial part of the job posting. Does it speak to you or scare you off? Company culture plays a big part in the fit of a role, and it’s important for you to see if the organization aligns with your values. Are you familiar with the company? If you’re not, do your research to learn more about the company to see if it’s somewhere you would like to be a part of.

Read Between the Lines

Most of the time job postings are written by someone other than those overseeing the position such as a Human Resource representative, which means they may not know the exact details of the job firsthand. A vague job duty such as “other duties as required” could mean many things. It could be a newer position where they are not sure what it will fully entail. This is something you shouldn’t dismiss but something to bring up at an interview. Don’t assume phrases like “works well under pressure” or “committed” means long hours. You can clarify those expectations later on.

Look for Pay and Benefits Information

Does the job ad include the compensation range? Does it offer any details about potential bonus opportunities, benefits, or other non-monetary perks? When evaluating the compensation, be sure to take into account any benefits and extras aside from just the salary – it’s the whole package that should be considered. Do your research and see if the salary is in line with the going rate in that field and location and know your worth.

Pull out Key Information

When you have reached the stage where you have decided it is a job you would like to apply for, the job posting is a critical piece to your application. Be sure to find key words to include in your cover letter and resume. This will help to show you have the qualifications they are looking for and that you did you research and put in the time required to tailor your application.

Follow the Instructions

Does the job ad list application instructions? Are there any unique requirements beyond sending your resume, such as a questionnaire, skill test or a video? Be sure to find the preferred method of communication for you to send in your application and follow all the instructions provided.

Lastly, it is always an option to contact the company to find out more information before deciding if you would like to apply or not. When you are working with a recruiter, you can benefit from their exclusive access to information. A good recruiter will be able to answer a lot of your questions about the company and the position and they should have the inside scoop on what they are looking for in the right candidate.

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