When scouring the internet for job openings, you are likely inundated with information and postings. Often, looking for a job feels like a full-time job itself. You might find yourself scanning job descriptions hastily, without fully considering all that is said. Today, we want to talk about some key things you should consider when reading job descriptions, how you can dig a bit deeper into what the position entails, and what it says about the organization or business you are thinking of working for. 

Pay attention to details 

When reading a job description, certain aspects will be obvious. This would include the job title, qualifications, and responsibilities. However, pay attention to the details surrounding certain areas of the job posting. Are the responsibilities of the job vague, or unclear? Does it specifically list what the role entails?  

If you are left with more questions about the job after reading the posting, you might want to consider what that means for the role itself. Of course, you can still apply, and listen to the hiring manager should you get an interview, but this is something to be cognizant of. 

“A well-crafted description also spells out the knowledge, abilities and skills required to perform a job successfully.”


Note repetition  

As you delve into the job description, pay close attention to words or phrases that are repeated throughout. Not only will these words note what the business or organization is actively seeking, they will also give you insight later when applying for the job and crafting your resume.  

Job postings will use some obvious keywords that will be beneficial for helping pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Of course, not all keywords will be listed, but there will be some worth noting. Phrases or words that are used a few times also show you what you should highlight in terms of your experience and expertise. 

Watch for buzzwords 

In some cases, the overuse of buzzwords could be a red flag as it might exhibit that the organization is unclear of what they want from the position, or what exactly they are looking for. CNBC Make It highlights some of the most common buzzwords used in job descriptions including: innovator, team player, thought leader, and self-starter to name a few. While it may be tempting to use these in your resume, it is much more effective to demonstrate these characteristics.  

“Using these common phrases alone isn’t enough to get an applicant hired. Stating that you’re an innovator isn’t sufficient if you don’t demonstrate in your application how you’ve innovated in previous roles.”

Drew Wilkinson, CNBC Make It 

You also want to pay attention to posts that have an extensive list of responsibilities, which might be an indicator that they are unrealistic in their expectations or want one individual to fill the role of many.  

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your job search journey further, please contact our team today. We look forward to helping you on your road to employment.