Understanding job adverts

Understanding job adverts

Job adverts can range from vague to specific so it’s important to know your own skills, knowledge and experience, so that you can identify and match yourself to roles that suit you. As a general rule, if you can tick 80% of the boxes in terms of what the employer is asking for then it’s worth applying.

Is the job a good fit?
One of the best ways to see if a job is right for you is to print out the job advert and go through it with a highlighter picking out the keywords and phrases. If you decide to apply, use those keywords in your CV and cover letter.

Understand the details
You may need to read between the lines of the description. For example, if it says the job is fast-paced then you need to be energetic and be good at working under pressure. If it asks for a particular skill, you have to be able to prove you’ve got it. You must be able to show how you meet their requirements if you want to get shortlisted. If you can’t demonstrate all of the skills required on the advert because you haven’t had the work experience to do so, take the opportunity to say why you have the potential. Mention anything which demonstrates this, even if it’s something outside of work.

Focus your search
The best way to increase your chances of securing the job you want is to apply for vacancies that you want, and where you can see that you have the skills they need. Applying for everything is just a waste of time! Planning your job search will help you to be focused on what it is you want.

Things to consider when applying for vacancies:

  • What are you good at?
  • How do you interact with others? Do you enjoy this and does it come easily to you?
  • Which sectors or industries interest you?
  • Have you researched various companies or job vacancies in your area?
  • Do you need to consider your personal circumstances ie. childcare or transport?

If you found this useful, why not look at How to write a good CV

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