How to read and understand job descriptions

There is a reason Job seekers hardly get it right in their first trial(s). Inexperience. Job seeking is an Art and it requires continuous practice to hit it right. Little wonders a lot of Job seekers apply for multiple roles in different companies and probably get a response from just a handful of them because they don’t understand job description. Therefore applying for positions they are unqualified for.

Laziness on the part of candidates is also a factor. Most times, candidates only concentrate on the requirements for the role and head on to apply. “Oh, they need a Bachelor’s degree for the role. I have it, so I can apply for it”. It takes more than just having the degree or even the grade graduated with. As a job seeker, you need not just concentrate on some parts of the vacancy post. It is your job to read and understand job descriptions and be sure to got what you read before you hit the ground running with your application.

Understanding the job description for a role you are applying for is beyond having the certificate/degree indicated on the vacancy. Do you have the skillset? Is it a Remote role? If it’s not, are you willing to relocate? Did the company indicate that they can assist you with relocation if need be? Where this is not their policy, can you handle your relocation on your own? Some organizations specify the gender they want (usually for gender balancing). Did you pay attention to that? Say the role, for example, requires you to work during the weekends, are you willing to make such a sacrifice, or will you start trouble after resuming the role?

Reading job descriptions is the proof of your ‘attention to details’ claim even meeting with the recruiter. A lot of job seekers indicate this in their Resumes. This stage either convinces or discourages the recruiter to continue the process with you.

Say there’s a vacancy for an Accountant with a stated year of experience in Financial Analysis. It is not enough that you have an Accounting degree, then you go ahead to apply. The experience in Financial Analysis was included in the vacancy for a purpose. It is not to beautify the post. The proper reading of Job descriptions is understanding that it is not your responsibility as a job seeker to filter the requirements to suit yourself. Understandably, there are some poorly written job posts out there. But you, as a job seeker is expected to follow the instructions, tailor your resume HONESTLY to fit the role, and be ready to defend that in an interview or assessment.

In her post on LinkedIn, Kristen Fifea Senior Technical Recruiter at Swiftly Systems Inc. said “I can tell you from my extensive years in recruiting, 75% of ALL job applicants to a specific job look like they never even bothered to read or understand job description”. You will agree that this stat is alarming. What this indicates is that only a meager 25% of ALL applications received seem like they went through the description from the resumes received. Now you understand why you apply to hundreds of companies and are not getting a response from any.

This inadequacy can be frustrating to not just the job seeker alone, but the recruiter also. This is because they know the specifications of the vacancy they put out. So, getting anything less is already the beginning of being screened out.

Over anxiety is not an excuse. The pain and possible depression of being without a job for a long time shouldn’t stop you from doing the needful before you apply for that role. This may even increase your days as an unemployed. You are therefore expected to take your time to go through the job requirements, make sure you are a perfect fit as you apply. It is better to take the pain to thoroughly go through the role requirements before applying than to feel the pain of constant rejection. This will help you to concentrate on roles you are qualified for, and you are 100% a match for and in the same vein, increase the possibility of you getting hired.

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  1. Pingback: What's entry-level job? How to get one in 2021 - YIEE

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