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Job ads: How to know when it's worth applying

Job ads: How to know when it's worth applying


When you’ve been job hunting for a while, you may start to find that one job ad morphs into the other and you are no longer as discerning as you once were. The job title is a role you’ve done before? Tick. Apply.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to get back to honing your attention on the details so you can increase your chances of finding a job that fits your credentials, and that you could potentially land and love! Here are four key things to look for:

  1. Skills required.
    Having the right skills for a job should be as equally important to you as it is to the employer. If you’re convinced a job would be great for you, but feel disadvantaged because you’re lacking the skillset, Dr. Joshua Grokop, Director of Alma Village Medical Centre says you should demonstrate that you have the potential to gain those skills in the future. “A good way of doing this is to give examples in your resume and cover letter of how you have previously learnt a new skill and how you can reproduce this in a new field of work.”
  2. Company culture.
    The culture of a company begins with its values and results in the way employees feel working there day-to-day. Does it advocate diversity? Does it facilitate career progression opportunities? Perhaps the job is with a small company that doesn’t have funds to invest in perks, but boasts a family atmosphere. When viewing job ads, try reading between the lines and envision what the culture will be like based on subtle references such as the tone of the ad or the location of the company. Cotton On Group is a great example, using upbeat, infectious language that clearly suggests it’s a fun and exciting place to work. To find out in more detail what it would be like working for a company, start by doing some online research and if you get to the interview round, make sure you ask about it. 
  3. Key responsibilities.
    The key responsibilities are what you’d be expected to execute on a day-to-day basis. Before applying for the job, ask yourself, “will I feel confident and content performing these tasks day in and day out?” If the answer is yes, Kristine Tuazon, Principal Consultant at Good People HR says, “It’s important to tailor your resume to the ad as this helps the hiring manager understand in their language how you can contribute and which of your qualifications will help you in the role.”
  4. Salary cues.
    Employers are not obliged to explicitly state the salary package in their job ads and often choose not to in case a fixed figure discourages people from applying. If the job title doesn’t state the level of seniority, look for other cues to salary such as the experience required, responsibilities and direct reports which could help you estimate a ballpark figure. This is another topic that would be more appropriately broached in a second or third interview.

Ultimately, a job ad should be able to help you answer questions such as “would I like this job?”, “does it pay well?” and “is it a step up or a step sideways?” If this is clear to you from the description, it’s likely you should hit apply. If not, it’s back to the drawing board. 


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