Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pieces of Gold in Those Job Postings



Job Postings are “pieces of gold.” They are your customer’s wish lists.
Any sales person would tell you that in order to sell someone something you have to know what they need.
Read through job postings to find out what your customer (the employer) is looking for – what is the need?
By familiarizing yourself with the language of the job posting you will be able to not only read the words and the content, but you will be able to read between the lines.
Here’s an exercise that will help you find the “gold” and make good use of it once you discover it.
Look at the job postings and the ads to see what experiences, skills and traits are in demand for the type of position you are seeking. In fact, look at several job postings that would be of interest to you.
For this exercise, don't limit yourself to geographical location. Look at jobs of interest located anywhere.
Your goal is to find key words and phrases. Some postings will be more vague about what it takes to get the job done and will require reading between the lines to determine what other skills are necessary. When you have several postings, read each word and sentence carefully, taking notes as you do.
Read the job posting three times.

  • Read the first time for content.
  • Read the second time for words – vocabulary. What words appear consistently in almost every posting?
  • Read the third time and read between the likes - what would it take to get this job done? What are they looking for?
Now, take a piece of paper and divide it in half. On one side of the paper write, “What they are looking for,” and on the other side, “What I have to offer.” Each time you apply for a position, it will be invaluable for you to know how you stand against what they are looking for. This exercise will help you see how close a match you are and where you should focus.
Your next step is to add your uniqueness to the “What I have to offer” list. Some postings will list additional skills required, which make it easier for you to see what is important to them.
An example would be, “Must have excellent communications skills, strong organizational skills, and be a willing team player.”
If these words appear in most of your posting examples, then make sure that these are a part of your focus.
Can you work these words and your five strengths into the interview to demonstrate your fit – and then some? It is your challenge to do just that to make yourself stand out in the crowd.
- Carole Martin

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