If you are starting to look around for apprenticeships or employment after finishing school then you will probably be faced with the daunting reality that is job adverts. These adverts are the obstacle between you getting the job and someone else getting it! Of course, each job ad is different as it relates to a particular job, but there are some interesting similarities that you can pick out and even use to make your application better. The key is in understanding the advert and what it is saying about not just the job itself, but the company as a whole and what they would expect from you as an employee.
The first thing to understand is that a job advert is not, as some might like to call them, a job ‘opportunity.’ Don’t get it confused, the employer is most definitely trying to sell their job to the right candidate as much as you are trying to sell your skills and experience to get it. As such a job advert is unlikely to say much about any less desirable aspects of the job. It is important that you understand fully what they are asking for in their advert as some want a degree whereas others might not and some might require specific things such as a driving licence which you may not have.
Before you go any further you need to know your own skills, knowledge and experience so you can match them to any job adverts you see. Obviously, if the advert uses lots of technical jargon that you don’t understand at all, the job is probably not for you. Be honest with yourself, as applying for jobs you have no chance of getting is just a waste of time and effort for everyone. However, if you can match your skills to around 80% of what the job is asking for, then you may want to consider applying.
Job titles can be misleading. One ‘administration’ role can be very different from another, while other job titles can seem to make a job sound much better than it actually is (a pretty common tactic). Remember that the employer will be trying to make the job sound as attractive as possible, so be a bit cautious with what they are saying to you.
Delving below the job title will allow you to see more about the job itself – including the responsibilities and any skills they want. You will need to be able to prove you match the skills and qualifications they want, so you will need to think about the evidence you can present to them – even if it is something from outside work.
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