Analyze Adverts for Job Applications

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The fundamental rule is: if you are going to apply for advertised jobs then only apply for the right ones. Don’t waste time by applying for the ones you’ve no chance of getting; not only is your time lost but your morale will suffer if you keep getting rejections. Analyzing adverts thoughtfully saves you more than just time.

Analyzing adverts is more art than science but if you approach it honestly you’ll find more time to do other productive things such as networking with the time you’ve saved.

Analyzing adverts is made so much easier when you fully know yourself and what you can do. What you must do is analyze your skills first. That's another subject...

Look very carefully at each advert that is of interest and read it several times until you get the feel and an understanding of what’s being described.
When you have that feel, try to read between the lines to deduce if there is one particular crucial need or if there is anything else you could infer from their words. It’s also useful to read it critically and ask “have they left anything out? that could affect your suitability.
Now you've worked out what it’s all about, take a highlighter pen and mark every clause or phrase where they state what their actual requirement is.
Read the advert again carefully to see if these needs are essential or merely desirable.
You should be able to meet more than 60% of the essential requirements which form the backbone of the job if you are to be seriously considered.
The desirables are nice-to-haves and the more of these you meet the better, but they are not the main issue.
When you have done all this analysis and you still see a good match, go ahead and draft your response letter. You should try to follow their style of writing by using similar phrases and words but don’t just regurgitate their advert back to them.

When you analyze the advert some phrases will stand out:
o “it is essential that you…? is a bit of a giveaway,
o or “you must have…?
o or “you will have…?
These all shout essential at you so look for similar phrases that you can match yourself against.
Others are not so firm and may say:
o “you should have…?
o or “some knowledge of…?
o or “ideally…?.
These are all saying ‘desirable’ but not essential.

You should look for the crucial need – if there is one and you don’t have it, then don’t proceed, this one is the killer and will knock you straight out.
If you do have it…
Make sure it’s the first thing you mention in your response.
That says “this candidate understands what we need?.
Please make sure you follow all their instructions i.e. reference number, closing date, enclose CV, give salary details.
If you don’t do this you still might find yourself knocked out just for being careless.


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