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Not What I Signed Up For

Job description doesn’t match the job?

What a shock!

If you’ve been at your job search for any length of time, you’ve probably come across a job description that sounds ideal for you, your skills, your wants and desires, etc. But once you’re hired that perfect job suddenly turns into something very different.

It could be the old bait and switch, or the transition from prospect to employee. Either way, those who fall into that trap feel… OK, let’s be kind. You feel frustrated and betrayed. As well you should.

The best way to avoid that trap is to push your interviewer(s) as much as possible in the direction of “What will I be doing all day, from day to day?”

They need to provide a clear and concise response to that question – and to do so quickly and easily without hesitation or stammering. If not, it’s time to push harder, or to push your way to the exit.

How can the job description help your search?

Job descriptions provide a simple and basic function for the employer as well as the job seeker. And you both need to be on the same page with it.

Can you turn the job description to your advantage? The simple answer is, “Yes!” The more difficult answer is that you may need to do some extra homework.

Scour that job description word by word. Translate how each of the functions or responsibilities mentioned dovetail directly into your strengths and capabilities. You can even turn the tables on them by quoting their own description, “You say that you’re looking for ‘X’? Well, I have X+!”

How do you know what the employer is really looking for? Look around. Somewhere, somehow they’re probably telling you.


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