Applying for a job is always difficult for anyone, and the first step is usually finding the position that fits your skills and qualifications. According to the statista.com, the number of job vacancies in the UK have hit a record of 1.3 million. And this number seems to be increasing immensely, as each industry grows within itself and the need for qualified workers increases.
As an applicant, it is important to identify a job description fit for your skills, qualifications and experiences.
Here are “5” basic elements to focus on when going through a job advertisement to make sure the job is what you are looking for:
Monthly income is the most important key in a job description. We are all looking to earn more in a new job than the previous one. As we collect experiences and grow our career, we expect the number of the salary to increase. While this increase is a natural expectation, sometimes it is not always possible.
When applying for a job, make sure to do research on the average annual income of the position within the industry. For example, how much does a primary school teacher earn in the educating industry? Or, how much does a director of a major company make annually when working in one of the biggest industries, the stock market?
Another way to get an idea of the annual income for the job position is to ask around. Find friends and family and talk with them.
Another way is to search for people on social media and ask if they are happy with their annual income. Asking for the net income might sound rude, but asking if they have an idea of the market and the average annual income of someone in that position of the industry is okay.
Having a rough understanding of the numbers of the industry you want to work with will help you to decide if the role is what you want. Maybe you are perfect for the position in terms of experience and qualifications, however, do not underestimate the importance of the salary and make sure that what you’ll earn will be worth all your hard work.
2. Responsibilities – Key Duties? Extras?
Being good at your job means your skills and strengths aligns with the responsibilities of the job. When reading a job description, make sure to tick most, if not all, the strength boxes that align with your skills. Stepping into big pair of shoes when you are not ready to take up the duties might make the role difficult to manage and you might end up with a ‘poor performance review’ or being unhappy in a job you started with high hopes. Consider your personality, the work environment, your skills and strengths along with weaknesses and compare these with the factors listed in the job description. This way you will find the best fit for yourself.
3. Flexibility in offers
Another element to look for in the job description is the flexibility of the offer. This means, how flexible is the company in changing certain expectations. For example, they may want you to come to office every day, whereas you may want a more flexible schedule where you work from home on certain days and come into office the other days. Is the company willing to find a compromise on such details? If the description has no such info, the best way to find out is to ask the recruiter directly.
Flexibility of the company is important because it allows you to see that they are more focused on efficiency and getting the work done rather than hard-core rules and regulations. This does not mean you will not be put under pressure; this only means, you and your future employer can work together to find ways in which both parties work efficiently to bring out a unique and well-formulated product/result.
4. Company Info/values
The job description will usually have a short explanation of the company and how it works. Make sure to read that part, and go ahead and do some more research. Some methods you can use are:
Company website – which will have quite a lot about the values, objectives, clients etc of the company. Look for the ‘About us’, ‘Clients’ and ‘Staff/Team’ segments.
LinkedIn – which is an excellent space to find people working in that particular company and connect with them. Maybe even have a chat to ask some questions about the work environment and how they feel about working there.
Twitter – is yet another great platform to learn about the values of the company. Look into what they are retweeting/tweeting and what they support. How much they keep up-to-date with important issues and which ones resonate with your values and thoughts.
Having an idea about the values of the company will help you in visualising the cultural environment you will be in and how this will make you feel over time. It’s important to work in a place where you feel belong and happy and appreciated. When you feel disconnected to the company you work with, this will make each day harder for you until it comes to the point of breaking and you’ve had enough to walk out. Don’t do that. Instead, do your research and start somewhere that will make you feel like you are moving forward mentally.
5. Working details (time, format, location)
The admin details of your job are critical for good performance and efficient use of time. When looking through the job description, keep an eye out for the following three ‘musketeers’ so to speak:
- Location: Make sure you know the city/area you will be going to every morning. If you are planning to commute, or even cycle to work every day, make sure to do research on the shops, bakeries, car parks etc around the office building.
You may want to prefer a work place close to your home, as it will make the mornings and evening easier. You may also prefer commuting and like train rides, in that case, make sure that you look up trains you can take to and from work.
Knowing these will help you in building a timeline for yourself when considering a job role.
- Format: Whether you are planning to work from home, work flexibly or go to office every day, make sure you have an idea of the type of working you can and want to do. Sometimes it seems best to work from home, other times you may need the office space to focus and/or socialise with co-workers.
Knowing what you are comfortable with and which type of working format you are most efficient in will help in building your career.
- Time: Efficient use of time is a great way to boost your performance and move you forward in your career. When looking through the job description, make sure you are aware of the types of shifts you will be having. Some jobs require a daily 8 hours of 9am – 5pm shifts, others are night shifts. Some begin in mid-afternoon and end in the late evening.
The job description may not have listed the time shifts, in that case you can email the recruiter of the company and ask them for details. Don’t be shy, ask what you want to know, as this might be the job of your dreams and you wouldn’t want to pass on it only because you felt reluctant to ask a simple question!
Knowing the timing of the job will help you to organise your daily routine.
Making sure that you have a clear understanding of the details of the job may seem like trivial detail, but it is these details that will help you organise your everyday routine. So, watch out for these details and make sure you are comfortable with what the job description is offering before applying!
While there are so many other points to consider in a job description, the above 5 are very basic ones to make sure you are aware of before applying. It is not easy to find the perfect fit for yourself, and maybe you will not. The important thing is to keep looking and keep trying.
Find ways in which you can relate your skills and qualifications along with expectations to the job description. Try to think of how you can connect a certain skillset with a responsibility stated in the description. Or, try to see if you can compromise some work environment details in order to meet the potential employer half-way.
Some job descriptions might be a perfect fit for you, in which you will see yourself described in the ad. Then go for it! Don’t wait! Apply and see what happens.
You may need to go through and apply to a lot of job descriptions, and that’s okay. Just keep trying and doing research until you finally land one! Using platforms such as Employin5.com will help you in building your CV and profile. Employers will be able to search for you based on the skills and qualifications they are looking for.