Job Descriptions – The Real Hidden Truth

 In Career Tips, Interviewing Strategies, Job Search Strategy


Job descriptions have a hidden reality. Any employer who floats out a job description for a position opening actually is doing something every little kid does during the Christmas holidays… writing out their wish list.

The job description is really a checklist for their dream candidate. Does that person really exist? Does Santa Claus exist?

But as much as the company outlines their desires in the “perfect” applicant, there’s also a hidden truth about the job itself.

A lot of what the employer REALLY wants isn’t posted in that announcement.

So in a way, the job description isn’t really accurate.

Your goal?

Find out what they REALLY want.

That’s why job boards and applying online without having any “warm contacts” at the target company won’t do you any good.

Oftentimes, what they really are looking for isn’t remotely close to what the job announcement describes.

Your goal, then, is to network the heck out of the company to find the inside contact who is willing to provide you the real scoop on what the hiring manager is truly looking for in a candidate.

The job description is simply a template and a wish list; the real meat of what the job entails lies in you doing the legwork to get the right business intelligence about what challenges the company is facing, what the corporate culture is like, what the management team’s approach involves, and where they want this position to go.

Once you have made in roads to a contact on the inside of the business, then you need to go to work by gathering as much information as you can about what makes the company tick.

Having a better understanding of the “back-end” operation will give you better clues as to what the position will actually involve.

So, it’s time to give up the job searching strategy of simply sitting at home and clicking “send” 80+ times as your standard application process.

You need to get out there, and start digging to find the hidden truth about job descriptions to know if they are the right fit.

Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is a Certified Advanced Résumé Writer and the president of Portland, Ore.-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services. Clients from across the United States and Canada and from all career levels have benefited from Dawn’s highly-focused and results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. Many professional groups as well as colleges and universities have appreciated the insights and expertise she shares during presentations on career management topics, and she is a frequently requested national speaker as a result.

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