Why you should read job descriptions

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As a job seeker, you should read the job description to understand the scope of work of the role and company and expectations for suitable candidates.

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Let’s face it, job hunting can be stressing. With some applications remaining unanswered and interviews not converting to jobs quickly, there is no doubt that frustrations and other awful feelings can follow.

In an attempt of being an early applicant, you may be tempted to quickly skim through the job description and submit your application. But that is not the right approach as it can further lower your success rates. To improve your chances of getting an interview, there is one trick that has proven sucessful over time; reading the job description thoroughly.

Why is reading the job description essential?

1. To know what to include in the application

Different recruiters have different hiring policies. Some request for cover letters and CVs while others need the latter only and a job seeker will know this is by reading the job description. Some request for extra documents such as academic certificates, debt clearance forms, and certificates of good conduct. Others proceed to request for samples of previous work, contacts of referees, salary expectations, or link to online profiles.

 A few seconds of looking at the attached copies are enough for the recruiter to makes notes about the applicants and either discard or open the application.

2. To send the stated formats and length of documents

Every employer wants an attentive employee who will identify and respond to changes promptly. Although many qualified applicants state that they are attentive, some contradict this when applying for jobs.

For instance, some recruiters are keen to state the maximum length of the resume or CV. This means that anything contrary will send the wrong message.

3. To use the right subject line

Some recruiters get hundreds of applications per day and to sort the applications, they may give specific subject lines for the advertised jobs for easy identification. As a job seeker, reading the job description will help you know whether you should craft your own subject line or use the stated one. Using a predetermined subject line where applicable will make your CV visible. 

4. To know the recipients and send the applications appropriately

Do not be surprised to learn that some recruiters include more than one recipient for the job application. The details are always available in the job advertisement.

5. To understand how you fit in the organization and curate your CV accordingly

Possessing a skill is one thing and being able to deliver value in a certain organization is another. As a job seeker, you should read the job description to understand the scope of work of the role and company and expectations for suitable candidates. Such information comes in handy in differentiating self from others and customizing job applications. Remember that employers care more about the value you can bring than what you claim you can do.

In conclusion,

Reading the job description is not wasting time because every company is unique and has a point of emphasis. Reading the entire copy helps you to know the skills and achievements to highlight.


About the author.

Catherine Wanjiru is a writer, author of Layers of a Human and a personal development enthusiast.

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    EMMANUEL | December 14, 2020 12:01

    Thanks for the enlightenment.

    Selinah | December 14, 2020 07:23

    Great article. I am very guilty of not reading the entire description but I will start doing that from today henceforth. Thank you

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