While job adverts might seem straightforward and follow the proven structure (highlighting salary, job requirements e.t.c), they often contain hidden clues that can tell us about things like company culture and shortlisting process. Furthermore analysing job adverts can help candidates to write competent and persuasive cover letters, increasing their chances for an in-person interviews.
It’s a good idea to look at these few crucial sections first while deciding whether further analysis is required:
Titles can be misleading so pay attention to what exactly the job title relates to the position within your industry. For example, jobs advertised as ‘Lorry Drivers’ can mean HGV Class 1 articulated lorries or Class 2. Both require different skills and experience.
This section is also known as requirements or experience. Make sure you meet at least most of essential requirements and can provide examples of transferable skills that would help you with handling the skills where you lack practical skills. This section indicates the background of the candidate that the employer is looking for.
Have a close look at the detailed list of responsibilities. Does performing these tasks seem like a good fit? Make sure you’re familiar with at least the majority of the tasks. If all of it seems alien to you, it might suggest that you’re not the best fit.
Some job adverts might be mentioning responsibilities in more general terms, while others offer a detailed list of bullet points highlighting every aspect of the work. Don’t be pressured to fit into every bullet point. If you’re at least familiar with most of the requirements then it’s a good idea to proceed!
Salary and Benefits
Nowadays many employers decide to state the salary straightaway, giving you a clear indication of the expected pay range, However, some employers like to conceal the salary information by phrases such as ‘salary dependant on experience’ or ‘competitive salary’. These statements might mean two things. Either your employer is prepared to underpay you or the salary is highly negotiable.
Other Tips & Tricks
Prioritise important information
When you’re reviewing a job advert keep in mind that the most important information will be contained within the first two paragraphs.
Keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to be match perfectly for the role all the time! If you’re meeting a majority of the most important requirements, you should feel comfortable continuing with your application. Make sure to take a detailed look and identify the skills that are ‘essential’ and ‘desired’ softer skills and match yourself accordingly.
Analyse the Language
Many job adverts use similar phrases and jargon that can offer us additional information about the company and the position. Is the employer looking for ‘motivated self-starters’? That might mean that you’ll have a fair amount of autonomy, but the training might be lackluster. The advert is mentioning ‘multitasking and tight deadlines’?] That suggests that the amount of work might be overwhelming and you’ll have to do a vast amount of overtime or just a big amount of varied responsibilities. Reading between the lines of the job adverts can teach you a lot about the actual requirements and company culture.
It’s also useful to analyse the style of the job advert. Is it casual, formal, creative? How does it fit with your personality and attitude towards work?
Experience and Job Prospects
Have a look at the experience section and analyse your compatibility. Can any of your transferable skills be applied to the experience you might be lacking? Is the experience essential or preferred? All of these questions can determine whether it’s reasonable to continue your application or look for another better-fitting position.
Is there clear evidence of possible progression within the company? Is the employer interested in people who are ambitious? Make sure that your career goals are fitting the narrative presented within the job description.
Research the Company
Take an extra care about the paragraph describing the company and their activities. Then research the company yourself. This can give you an indication of the company culture and your responsibilities as well as prepare you for the next stages of your interview such as writing a cover letter, cv or in-person interview.
Kickstart Your Career
Analysing the job advert is an important first step of preparation for the next stages of your application. We hope that these tips will allow you to prepare for your next position more effectively and you’ll achieve your career goals as a result!
Here at Industrial Work Solutions we offer a number of industrial, technical and driving vacancies across the North-East and beyond!