Searching for a job requires diligence, perseverance, and skill. All these qualities come into play when reviewing job descriptions. Whether a job description is your first introduction to a company or not, it’s important to consider the various elements of each posting seriously. After all, you want to pursue those roles that will be a good fit for you — not just those currently open!
What exactly should you look for in a job description? Our team of experts at The Doyle Group has a lot to say on this subject. Let’s discuss six key elements to review:
Cultural fit should be an important consideration in any job search. You want to work for a company that not only pays a competitive wage. Look for a job that you enjoy and will help you make progress toward your professional and personal goals. Ideally, all this takes place in a collaborative, comfortable environment.
When reviewing a job description, look beyond the keywords. Try to discern what it would really be like to work with the business in question. Beware of language that tries to put a positive spin on a negative reality. For example, “working in an exciting, fast-paced environment” can translate to “constantly being stressed out over unreasonable deadlines.”
Put another way: job descriptions that clearly explain the company’s culture are usually safer bets than postings full of jargon and buzzwords.
Look for job descriptions that clearly define expectations for the role. These will include day-to-day duties, primary job responsibilities, and any requirements you’ll need to meet (such as which times of the week you’ll need to be available, whether you’ll need to use special equipment or software, etc.).
It is best to steer clear of job descriptions with a list of vague or confusing expectations. For example, if several technologies are included in the posting without any explanation of what they’ll be used for, this may be a red flag that the job description is lacking in clarity. In other words: company leaders don’t know what they want, and they probably won’t be happy with what they get!
3. Salary Transparency
Salary transparency (or pay transparency) is when an employer provides information about their compensation to job seekers. Several states already have salary transparency laws on the books, and many more states will likely enact such laws over the next several years.
Even if your state doesn’t currently regulate salary transparency for job postings, you’ll want to spend more time on job descriptions that provide some kind of pay range for new hires. A posting with this information will help you to manage your expectations before and during the application process, and may offer a great starting point for your wage negotiations, should the company decide to pursue you.
4. Benefits Package
It’s important to understand what the full benefit package offered by a job description involves. Obviously, this would include your base pay and other financial benefits, such as paid time off, health insurance coverage, vacation days, etc. However, the total package will likely include much more than that.
For example, an “intangible” benefit could be the work environment itself. Maybe the company offers remote/hybrid work, which is a perfect fit for your schedule and circumstances. Other benefits could include volunteer opportunities, education reimbursement, family leave, a training stipend, and the ability to advance your career within the company.
When looking at the entire benefits package offered by an employer, see if it aligns with your personal principles and values. For instance, if one of your core principles is maintaining work/life balance, then a flexible schedule may match your needs.
If you’ve read a job description and like everything you’ve seen, check your network to see if you have any connections currently working with the company. For instance, explore your LinkedIn connections. If any have worked at the company in the past (or are currently doing so), ask them about their experience. After gathering intel, If you want to pursue the opportunity further, see if you can get a referral.
What if you don’t have any direct connections that work with the organization? It may be wise to work with an agency that does have an established relationship with them. Many candidates have found that partnering with a firm like The Doyle Group is a “shortcut” to getting an interview with the employer they’re interested in.
6. Your Gut
At the end of the day, your gut feeling about a job is another important element that shouldn’t be overlooked. After reading the job description, do you feel connected with the company? Do you feel like it would be a good place to work? How well would you fit into their culture? These are all important questions to consider, and each person may arrive at different conclusions.
What if you have a great feeling about the job and want to pursue the opportunity but don’t quite meet all the qualifications listed? If that’s the case, it should be noted that many jobseekers apply for roles in which they don’t quite meet all the criteria — and some of them land the job anyway! You also may have other qualifications or strengths not mentioned in the job description that you can bring to the table. However, if you really want to pursue a role with a particular company, it may be best to partner with an agency like The Doyle Group that can “pave the way” for you.
If you pay attention to these six elements when reviewing job descriptions, odds are you’ll find the right opportunity sooner rather than later. For more assistance in your job search, contact our team at The Doyle Group today.