There is nothing more important prior to applying for a job than reading the job description. Read it thoroughly, or even read it twice. Applying for a job you do do have the skills and qualification for does you no favors.
If you apply for a job which you match the requirements, you are much more likely to make an impression on the hiring manager, and be selected for an interview.
If you only look at a job title and salary, and this is your guide for job searching – stop now, you are not helping yourself. Ask yourself, why am I looking for a change, what should my next career step be, do I want to want in a certain industry. Having a passion about looking for a new position is key.
As a recruiter, we probably receive between 300 – 1000 applications for every job we advertise and I will honestly say we are lucky if 10% match the specifications.
Therefore it is very time consuming and the specifications are not ones we have randomly made up – our clients have required candidates have these certain skills or qualifications. I will admit that while some clients do have some flexibility, be sensible on what you feel this would be classified as.
If a client is looking for a Finance Director, and is asking for a fully qualified CA through articles with 10 years experience. You may get away with applying if you have 8 years. If you are a Graduate, be reasonable – do not apply – and you may feel I am ranting – I assure you we see this situation in all industry sectors on a daily basis.
So work with the below to give yourself the best chance of being selected for a job –
- Know Yourself.
To evaluate a job description, it’s important that your qualifications are fresh in your mind. This means you’ll need to evaluate your resume to ensure it is up-to-date with your most recent education, job skills and experience.
- Read Beyond the Job Title.
Sure, the title will give you a clue about what the job entails. But many people see the title, read the only beginning of the description and quickly submit their resume. Take the time to read the entire document, focusing your attention on the most important parts.
- Make Note of the Company Culture and Job Roles.
These are generally listed at the beginning of the job description. They are often standard language that is included in all the job descriptions the company produces. They are important clues that can help you decide if the organization is the right one for you; however, they won’t really help your recruiter decide if you are right for the organization. Bookmark these and come back to them.
- Pay Careful Attention to the Job Requirements.
Requirements such as education, job skills and experience are areas in which you can set yourself apart from the competition. Focus your attention on the first three or four items in the list, which are likely the most important requirements for the job. Do you possess the required qualifications? Note whether the requirements are listed as mandatory or preferred. You’ll need to meet mandatory requirements to even be considered; preferred education, skills or experience could put you ahead of the pack if you have them. If you don’t, it’s possible other factors in your resume will make you an attractive option.
- Do You Want the Job?
If you’re qualified, are you on board with the company culture and potential job roles? Don’t apply for a job you feel lukewarm about, because your insincerity could be detected in both your resume, and in your interview (if you’re contacted for one). Recruiters want to hire candidates who are enthusiastic about the job. If the position doesn’t excite you, move on.
Follow these five steps to find a rewarding position that is right for you. Thorough review of the job description can save you tremendous effort and prevent frustration in your job search. A little effort is worth the payoff: a job you love!