Want the Job? Invest Time Reading the Job Posting

Follow directionsHow much time do you spend reviewing an online job posting/ Absorbing all the details including requirements and instructions? If you’re like many job seekers, the answer is: not much.

Want proof? According to a May 2013 study by TheLadders: job seekers spend less than 60 seconds reviewing an online job posting before they decide either to apply or pass on the opportunity.

50% of Applicants Are NOT Qualified

Recruiters have said that half of the applicants who apply for a job are not qualified. The likely reason? Because job seekers do not spend enough time analyzing the entire job posting.

THELADDERS HEAT MAPTheLadders’ study used eye-tracking technology and as you can see (red indicates more time), the most time was spent looking at

  1. Title
  2. Company
  3. Job details (salary and recruiter information)

The press release stated:

“Despite job seekers self-reporting that they spend up to 10 minutes reviewing a job description to determine whether they are a fit, the results revealed that they devote only 10 percent of that time assessing an opportunity.”

The takeaway according to this study is that more time spent reviewing qualifications, roles and responsibilities, would decrease the number of unqualified candidates applying. Might I add, following the instructions for how to apply are equally important.

These Rules Apply to Everyone:

Submit your resume in the format/method requested. Once you’ve followed their instructions, you can reach out to company insiders to let them know you’ve applied and ask if they would feel comfortable walking your resume to the hiring manager.

Address the request for additional information. If you decide NOT to submit references or salary expectations/history, explain why you are not supplying this information at this time but you will be happy to supply it upon scheduling of the interview.

“No Calls Please” means you should not call HR. However, if you know people inside the company, you can certainly contact them for more information.

Years of Experience requested usually equates to level of position.

  • 1-3 years is usually considered entry level
  • 4-9 years is mid-level
  • Over 10 years usually indicates a senior level position

Understand How Recruiters Think

Before you apply for one more job, please do this. Read this article written by Dr. John Sullivan, so you can understand how recruiters think. This means understanding how they screen and eliminate candidates and the challenges they face.

Why You Can’t Get A Job… Recruiting Explained by the Numbers on ERE.net (a website specifically for recruiters!)

Job Postings Stink, But…

I’ll admit, most job postings bite the big one. However, you and I can’t change that, so for now, perform your due diligence and thoroughly review and absorb all parts of the job posting before you submit your customized resume and company-specific cover letter.

And the best way to create a WOW cover letter is to research the company- visit their website, social media profiles, and talk to employees. Then melt this intelligence into your cover letter to ensure you come across as interested AND qualified!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa!



HannahAbout the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa, and follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!



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