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Making a List and Checking it Twice

Dissecting a job description has benefits

➔ Many job seekers become enthralled with a job description’s title and barely skim the actual job description before charging off to pursue the opening. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, doing your homework here may be key to your ultimate job search success.

If you’re not landing interviews or getting call backs, maybe you should be reading the proverbial fine print.

Your homework assignment is…

Read the job description very carefully. Very carefully. Make certain that you’re checking all the boxes. Whether it’s duration of experience, familiarity with the industry, or a particular skill or set of skills, if you’re missing the mark in any of the criteria stated by employer, you may be missing the mark.

This is also a good strategy for any interaction with the employer. “Mr. Employer, you’re looking for ‘X,’ I can provide ‘X.” This draws a direct connection between the employer’s needs and your ability to meet those needs. A big plus.

Of course, there may be more there than meets the eye. Employers can be just a little bit sneaky when it comes to job descriptions.

When given the chance, don’t be afraid to ask, "What are the top 2 or 3 competencies that you're looking for in this position?” In addition to exhibiting a level of aggressiveness or assertiveness regarding the job and the company, you’re putting the employer on notice that you’re willing to dig to confirm that you’re right for the job and that the job will be right for you.

In addition, the employer’s response may be quite revealing. It’s not uncommon for employers to be looking for certain qualifications that are not included in the job description.

This is good for you on a number of levels. True, it may disqualify you for a position. It also may, however, reveal you that the job just isn’t right for you, or that you won’t be happy in that position.

Job descriptions are funny. But if you play it right, you might be the one doing all the laughing.


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