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Put Your Job Search in Reverse

You can go forward by going backward This probably will not qualify as reverse psychology, but you can advance your job search by going in reverse. It’s not as dumb as it sounds.

If you’ve been job seeking for any amount of time, no doubt you encountered a situation where you have the opportunity to review the job description for the position in question. (Or, at least you have seen the advertisement for the position.) In that description, they outline specifically (and the rate of specificity will vary from job to job) what they are looking for in an ideal candidate. It could be years of experience, specific experience doing some specific task(s), industry experience, educational background, certification, etc. When you apply, or if you’re fortunate enough, when you’re preparing for the interview, what that job description does it to provide you with your homework as well as your strategies for what to emphasize. If they put a lot of emphasis on industry experience, that’s the opening line of your cover letter; or, that’s the lead segment of your resume; or, that’s the point you keep emphasizing during your interview. Engineers refer to it as “reverse engineering.” That’s when, to find out how something works, you take it apart. Start with the finished product and work backwards. You can do that with a job description. Most likely, that job description will tell you what they’re looking for, what they think is most important. Your task is to decipher that, and feed it back to them.


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