How to read a job ad look for extra details

How To Read A Job Description




While hunting your dream job, you probably go through each job description which allows you to get a first glimpse of the employing companies, job responsibilities and specification for each function, to understand what the selection is all about. You may have noticed that a typical job description template contains these basic sections:

About the company
Role description
Hidden aspects and role requirements

All these details should help you decide if you are the right candidate for the job and if the job is the right one for you.

Hence, it’s important to read the job description template very carefully, and be able to extract the information that might not be obvious at first sight. Here are a few tips on how to do this!

Job description: basic information

There are a few aspects that any job description template should include.

Ask yourself: by reading this ad, do I:

  • Find out basic information about the company such as its mission, vision and values?
  • Receive enough information about the responsibilities of the role?
  • Confidently assess if I am the right fit for this role?
  • Obtain salary and benefits that meet my expectations?

If your answer to all of these questions is yes, go ahead and continue with more detailed research of the company and the role.

If your answer is no, you may want to run additional research regarding the company and the role or reconsider your job application. You might end up applying for a role or a company that is not the right fit for you.

How to read a job description: look for extra details

job description template

Check if the job specification contains additional details that can help you better understand the role.

This could include:

  • A brief description of why this position is open and how it will impact the future state of the team.
  • Testimonials from the leaders and team members about the job function.
  • An explanation of the hard and soft skills needed within the team, along with a job description.
  • What are the success factors.

Look for the information that’s offered, to have a better understanding if you’re the right fit for the role. That will surely help you take the right decision.

Moreover, conduct research to make sure the company is the right one for you. We explain how to do that in the ‘Company evaluation’ fact-sheet.

Job responsibilities vs Job requirements vs Job offerings

A job description should be balanced when it comes to the information on the role responsibilities, salary and benefits. As a candidate, you deserve to receive an accurate description of your potential future tasks, together with a reasonable set of skills and capabilities needed to perform the role successfully.

For example, a job specification containing only a few brief bullet points on the scope. Combined with an extensive list of requirements, it might indicate that the company doesn’t have realistic expectations from their candidates, and, conclusively, the employees as well.

Hidden-meaning aspects in a job description

Hidden-meaning aspects in job ads

Most companies won’t admit that you have long working hours ahead of you or a cranky manager. That’s why it’s vital to pay attention to the recruitment process, described in our other fact-sheet. 😊

It is also important to learn how to read a job description between the lines. This will help you find useful hints about whether the role and the company are right for you.

Some examples of such hidden-meaning aspects could be:

  • Focus on the regional/global presence of the company. This could indicate exposure to foreign stakeholders and potential international opportunities.
  • A clear job description, responsibilities and needed skills. This could indicate that the organization has a well-defined vision and strategy with a clear understanding of where the role sits and what are the key success factors.

On the other hand…

  • An extensive and repetitive list of requirements could indicate that the company has unrealistic expectations towards the candidates and/or is unable to set and split the critical skill set among the team members, depending on job function, for example.
  • Strong focus on the candidate’s flexibility, adaptability, and execution could indicate a chaotic and time-demanding working culture.

Stay curious and attentive and you’ll certainly succeed in applying for the right roles in the right companies at the right time to step up your career game!

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