Why Is This Important?
Think of a job posting like a recipe. When following a recipe it is crucial that you follow steps and directions. A recipe may look similar to others but they all have different ingredients or steps to create a successful meal.
When looking at job postings you may find that the format is often consistent. Often times we skim through the posting or only consider a few key factors. It’s important to remember to fully read the job posting to help uncover the employers needs and wants, information about the company, responsibilities of the position, the qualifications that may be needed, and to assess whether it will meet your needs and expectations.
Similar to a recipe if you skip a step or direction you will not get a favorable outcome. No one wants to leave a bad tasting first impression.
Where do I start?
JOB TITLE: This is usually the first thing that was decided when the hiring manager or recruiter was thinking of the open position. The job title can hold a lot of clues as to what the job may entail and it is usually the first thing that piqued your interest. It’s also important to remember that Job titles can sound similar across industries but mean very different things. For example “administrator” and “administrative” sound similar but have very different job duties.
RESPONSIBILITIES: The responsibilities section of a job positing will help show you what you would be doing on the job. Remember that most employers will list responsibilities in order of importance. When looking at this section of the job start thinking about if you have done this work in some capacity before and if you would enjoy it. Think like the employer and begin highlighting key words and action words that are used.
ABOUT US: Most job postings will include a section where they give a brief overview of the company. This is a great starting point when beginning your research about the company’s mission, values, and history. This section may also give clues to the what type of work environment the company encapsulates or where they place value. For example you may find key words such as “hard-working, dedicated, fun, empowering, leading, and passionate.”
EXPIRATION AND POSTING DATES: Attempt to apply for the position within 48 hours after seeing it. Most employers will review resumes and applications as they are received. Once viable candidates are located they may stop reviewing information even before the expiration date that is posted.
APPLYING DETAILS: Most job postings will include a section that explains how to apply for the position. Read this section carefully. Some employers will list an email to send your resume and cover letter to and then direct you to their website to fill out a formal application. Understand that if you do not complete all steps you application will be considered as incomplete. Also be aware of specific instructions that may ask for no follow up calls or emails. Respect the information that is provided.
I’ve decoded the posting. Now What?
Now that you have discovered the key traits and skills that the employer is looking for evaluate your own skills and work history. How many times do you find similar words or traits within your resume or work history? This will help determine if you are a good fit for the position. If their are traits that are listed in the posting that you possess but are not listed on your resume add them in. The most important this to remember is do not lie or embellish. If the posting states that cash handling experience is preferred and you haven’t any don’t say that you do. Instead focus on the skills and traits you do have. This allows the employer to see why you still are a great fit for the position and where you might need additional training.
Test Your Skills.
Below you will find a job posting for a position with 123 Store. Utilize the tips and steps you learned above to decode the job posting. Answer what is the job title, responsibilities, what you know about the company/position, expirations dates, and how to apply. Also think about what each section that you’ve answered is telling you about the position. Check the answer key below to assess how you’ve done. If you realize that your struggling with this material don’t be afraid to ask your FSET case manager for help. This may be an area that can be explored more during your appointments.
Job Title: Service Desk Associate
What does this tell me? This position will most likely require a high level of customer service. The service desk often deals with exchanges, complaints, and general questions.
Responsibilities: The top three bullets point out the top three skills and responsibilities that the employer is most likely looking for
What does this tell me? Customer service is the main priority of this company. They will most likely be looking for an individual that isn’t afraid to welcome, help, and direct customers accordingly. They are also looking for someone that will be friendly and upbeat most definable as a “people person.” This associate will also be working on returns and will have to deal with both cash and credit transactions.
About Us: This particular job posting does not have a clear depiction of the company’s mission or values. One could argue that they place a high priority on customer service and ensuring that the service they do offer is “world class.’ You may be able to draw conclusions that during an interview or your employment there will be a continue to be value placed on customer interactions.
What Does this tell me? You may have to do additional research. Try looking at the company’s webpage or locate news articles. This will help you to decipher what the company truly places value on and may give you insight to what your employment may be like there.
Expiration and Posting Dates: No expiration date or posting date is listed.
What does this tell me? This may be an ongoing position in which the company consistently looks for outstanding candidates. If no date is posted it is important to apply as soon as possible. Most sites will recommend that you apply within 48 hours of seeing the job posting.
Applying Details: A resume should be sent to Katiehr@123store.com
What does this tell me? This employer is looking for a polished resume. It also informs you of the individuals first name. This will help when drafting formal or informal letters of interest to the company.