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HigherEdJobs.com: Why You Should Analyze Job Descriptions as Career Exploration

Read Why You Should Analyze Job Descriptions as Career Exploration by Justin Zackal, from HigherEdJobs.com, April 26, 2020

As someone who has engaged in a long-term job-search across many different jobs, I have read my share of poorly written job descriptions. I’ve also read about jobs that make me want to know more. But all of them have told me something that I could be doing to make myself an ideal candidate to consider.

The author suggests that all job searching should start with considering the job descriptions of positions that are in your sight:

Career exploration involves several steps, starting with the basic lay of the land: noting the jobs available, their requisite skills and backgrounds, the institutions hiring, and recognizing patterns.

Then you need an anchor. Try writing the job description of your ideal job so that you evaluate jobs that interest you based on ones that are closest to your standards. At this stage in your job search, you shouldn’t get into the habit of trying to conform yourself to every job that meets your criteria.

by Justin Zackal, from HigherEdJobs.com, April 26, 2020

Focusing on what I wanted to do gave me more agency and choice. I could look through a job, know if it fit my own skills and interests, and decide whether to apply or not. Saying no to a job listing was important for my soul, because it made me the decision-maker rather than someone who just wanted any job.

Compare job descriptions to identify the preferred terminology related to your profession or discipline, as well as the institutional mission, so you are singing from the same hymnal once you interact with people at an institution.

Analyzing job descriptions can also help you pick up on possible code words, such as “results-oriented,” meaning your performance could be measured by data; “energetic,” meaning they prefer a younger candidate or a certain personality type; or “flexible,” as mentioned above about taking on additional responsibilities.

by Justin Zackal, from HigherEdJobs.com, April 26, 2020

I have found that asking those questions in an interview shows that you paid attention to what was written – and also gives the hiring manager a sense of priority of the meanings, if there could be multiple meanings.

Continue reading Why You Should Analyze Job Descriptions as Career Exploration by Justin Zackal, from HigherEdJobs.com, April 26, 2020


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Joseph Rios, EdD
leadershipandvaluesinaction@gmail.com
I am Joseph Rios and I believe that leadership is an expression of our values
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