The information age has resulted in the bombardment of consumers with too much information. As a result of this, it has been reported that attention spans are increasingly becoming shorter. Most of us have lost the art of reading. Instead, we have adopted the habit of scrolling through information in search of what we consider important. This often happens when candidates are going through a job posting. Based on the applications and resumes we have received over the years, it is not hard to see that most candidates spend less than a minute reading through a job posting before hitting the “ Apply” button. As a result of this approach, most candidates miss out on opportunities that they are qualified for.
What should you be on the lookout for in a job posting? Here are some of the key elements of a job posting that you should be on the lookout for;
The Job Title
It sounds obvious, right? It is right there in front of you. It is in bold font. Most candidates still miss out on it. If you are applying for a job via email, make the job title the subject of your email. Make it the filename of your resume before you send your resume. At any given moment, recruiters have to sift through hundreds of resumes as they seek candidates for various jobs. Make your application and your resume stand out of the crowd by demonstrating that you know the position you are seeking.
The Recruiter’s Name
Should the job application you are about to send be addressed to a recruiter or human resource manager at a particular organization? Knowing the recruiter’s name is important as it will help you customize your application appropriately. In some job postings, the title of the person you will be reporting to will be included in the job description. For instance, a marketing manager may be reporting directly to the chief operations officer. Before you send your application, try and find out some information about the person you will be reporting to through professional networks.
If you are applying via email, can you learn anything from the address? It is not uncommon for con artists seeking to fleece desperate job seekers to create dummy accounts using Gmail or Yahoo so be on the lookout for such email addresses. A legit job posting from a credible organization will not mention the name of the person you will be reporting to. It will also include the name of the organization. For instance, if you are applying for the position of an intern at XYZ fashion, the job posting will state that all applications should be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Instructions on How to Apply
Job postings will include instructions on how to apply for a particular position. If an organization is seeking a photographer who must include a sample of his work, ignoring these instructions will dim your chances. In some job postings, candidates may be required to include the job title and a reference number in the subject line. Adhering to such instructions gives you an edge over the other candidates. It also shows that you pay attention to details and you can follow instructions.
Keywords to Use in Your Application
Read and re-read the job description very carefully. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the skills that are required for the job?
- What are the academic qualifications required for the job?
- What are the roles and responsibilities you will be required to carry out as part of your job?
Your answers to these questions should shape your application. Most recruiters use software that sifts through applications based on relevance. The relevance is based on specific keywords that the employer wants to see in your application.
When writing your resume, avoid making it too long even if you have the professional experience and academic qualifications that would make it long. Most recruiters do not have the time to read through a novel. Instead, make it about two pages long with key highlights.
Most organizations will clearly spell out the qualifications that are required for a particular job and the skills that are relevant to that role. Do not worry if you do not have some of the skills. For instance, a job may require a candidate with five years of experience yet you only have three years of experience in a similar role. Highlight your achievements in those three years. Demonstrating that you have the ability to deliver results could actually make you stand out.
As a candidate, you need to spend a little more time reading the job posting before sending your application. The clues you need are often tailored into the job posting. All the best in your search!