Monday, November 28, 2011

The #1 Rule to a More Efficient Job Search

Looking for work is stressful enough without wasting time pursuing opportunities that will never come to fruition.  There IS a connection between the job description and a candidate’s skill set.  If you are a job seeker and looking to streamline your job search activities, consider the following tips and information:

Read the job description BEFORE applying for the job! 
Job descriptions are snapshots of the job.  Well written job descriptions will clearly and concisely state the job responsibilities as well as a list of tasks that successful candidates will be required to do once they have secured employment with the company.  Well written job descriptions will also list the key qualifications i.e. basic requirements and/or credentials desired by the employer.

Well-written job descriptions are likely to contain the following information:
  • Title of the position
  • Department
  • Reports to (to whom the person directly reports)
  • Overall responsibility
  • Key areas of responsibility
  • Consults with (those who the person works with on a regular basis)
  • Term of employment
  • Qualifications (necessary skills and experience required)
It is also important to note that a job description may not be limited to explaining the current situation, or work that is currently expected; it may also set out goals for what might be achieved in future.

Rationale for reading the job description BEFORE you apply for the job:

1.         You will be able to identify the functional responsibilities and skills required to do the job and if you have the necessary skills to fulfill the job responsibilities.
2.         Once you have a better understanding of the job duties, you will have a better understanding of what a reasonable amount of pay is for the job and if you are willing to accept that level of  remuneration
3.         Once you are called in for an interview, you will be in a better position to respond to the interview questions that would be relevant to the role as well as the information you need to have a better understanding of the standards by which you will be measured

Advice to job seekers:

There IS a connection between the job description and a candidate’s skill set, so, stop wasting valuable time and resources pursuing job opportunities for which you are not qualified. 

Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career that is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. This blog is also dedicated to those who stand a little taller each time they picked themselves up after failing and those who gained the wisdom and humility from those experiences to help others do the same. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at