Cut Through the Crap
Yes, you heard me right. Stop wasting valuable time and learn to cut through the lingo and the unnecessary crap in job ads. Let me guide you through a natural and intuitive process to secure an interview. Learn to ‘cut through the crap’ so to speak, regardless of how descriptive the ad is, and decide whether or not it’s a good fit for you.
Applying this review or reading process can also clue you in to how serious the company is about the position and give you details about the company culture. Here is a quick list of the three most obvious ‘cutting’ tools.
Weed through the ad and cut out the good stuff
Certain parts of a job ad are about the skills the employer requires or, at least, wishes to see in a potential candidate. Review what is listed as ‘required’ skills, experience and education and don’t get frustrated if it seems that sometimes companies list requirements that are next to impossible to find. Always remember, if you are dealing with a serious employer then the specifications are flexible to an extent. Yes, sure there are always a few people out there that will match the requirements but the chances of finding them are slim and a big list of requirements only reduces or eliminates a lot of the potentially qualified candidate pool. Other times, the skills required do not match the salary they are willing to pay. This is where you have to put your ‘sales & marketing’ hat on and realise that something has to give — either the budget will go up for the right candidate or the qualifications will become more realistic. If you have most of what the ad requires, go ahead and apply.
Too many job descriptions are long enough to make your head spin. Who comes up with some of the stuff – seriously? Always skim and pick out the keywords that stand out and matter. If your first scan tickles your interest, go back and read the description in detail to determine if the job is a good fit for you.
If you’re searching online for jobs, start by searching for keywords that match your field of expertise. Once you’ve narrowed your ‘matching list’ of positions, make sure that you integrate the keywords and abbreviations from the job ad in your cover letter and resume. The more you mimic the language used in the job ad, the more hiring managers and recruiters will pay attention to your application.
Ignore the fluff
The longer you job search, the more you will come to the realisation that most job ads are made up of half relevant information and half fluff. The fluff is usually the last half of the job ad or description. Being a detail-oriented and organized person with excellent communications skills may be qualities listed in the job description, but this isn’t the area you want to play up in your resume. These time wasting fluff commentaries most often aren’t the real skills sought and focussing on them won’t land you an interview. So, skip over them and focus on the important parts of the description.
Also, watch out for job descriptions that leave too much to the imagination. This could be a sign of a job that doesn’t really exist.
It may be an ad from a recruiter or company who is simply collecting resumes. It’s also often a sign the company doesn’t know what to look for or what this person will be responsible for in the company. Don’t waste your time on those sorts of ads. You are just helping board members make up their minds if they have budget for that type of position in the next year and what the potential candidate pool may be like.
Hunt wisely, Uli