Applying for a new job can be intimidating. Especially when the qualifications seem out of your reach. There are many reasons why the company might have listed the requirements they chose. But a job specification is usually only a wish list and rarely a realistic job description. As the applicant you just have to make sure that the job description doesn’t scare you off. Here is how you can easily tackle the scariest job descriptions out there.
Break It Down
First of all don’t focus on what skills you are missing. Instead read through the description and try to get a sense of what someone in the role would be working on each day. Picture yourself in the role based on the skills and the description given. This will help you identify a typical day for someone in that position.
Take this Senior Media Manager job description for example.
“Our client, a global full service digital agency, is looking for a Sr. Search Manager to join their Berlin office. The Sr. Search Manager will play a key role in overseeing enterprise level search accounts, managing junior staff, client contact and ensuring campaign metrics are achieved. Requirements:
- 3+ years of agency PPC experience
- Managerial experience with junior staff
- Experience working on Enterprise level accounts”
Let’s break this description down. “Overseeing enterprise level search accounts” can be understood as experience supervising or working with important clients. Also look at “managing junior staff” as the ability to lead a group of people. Take the descriptions and apply it to similar experience you already have. When you rewrite the job description this way it won’t appear as intimidating.You’ll also have a more accurate sense of what you have to offer versus what skills you may be lacking.
Sometimes job descriptions have ridiculous requirements because someone thought “that would be nice to have”. A job description might ask for a candidate who “lives to work” when the company just wanted someone dedicated to their job. Or the company might post a list of advanced programming languages for a job that only involves social media management. You can see why this would scare many candidates.
The problem with most job postings is that it represents the company’s ideal candidate. However that ideal candidate may not exist or if they do they might not be available. Hiring managers can’t wait around for that purple unicorn to show up which means that solid qualified candidates still have a chance. If you see an endless list of desired skills at the end of the description, see them as bonuses. Rather than focusing on what you don’t know, market your core selling points instead.
A critical piece of the application process is connecting the dots between the experience you already have and what the position entails. But don’t over-reach to find relevant experience.Identify how your lessons from prior experiences apply to a future role. Maybe sales experience would prepare you for client management or copywriting would help with SEM.
If you aren’t sure about a position feel free to discuss the opportunity with your recruiter. Be proactive and give them a call. They would love to give you more information since they will have the full picture. They will also know exactly which skills are essential to the company and the role. Maybe the job is a perfect fit for you and your skills. Remember a good employee is not easy to find, and motivation goes a long way. The perfect candidate may not exist. But the right candidate does.
With a better understanding of what the company is looking for and the right mindset, you will be that much closer to landing your dream job.
Marek Wierzbicki is the DACH Recruitment Director in the Digital Marketing division of Adaptive Globalization. He recruits for roles across the spectrum of seniority from entry level to Managing Director/C-level.
Feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn for a networking conversation.
Article originally published here.
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