Don’t Get Fooled by the Job Description

March 26, 2019

April Fools! You are 6 weeks into your new job, and it is NOT the role you signed up for. This is far from an ideal situation, but it happens to individuals more often than you would expect. In fact, the results from a Monster poll showed that 85 percent of people have felt “fooled by a job description.” The truth is, job descriptions are tricky to write for hiring managers and can be misleading to the job seeker.

For hiring managers, it can be tough to put into words the responsibilities, tasks and skillsets that a job requires. Most employers are not intentionally misleading applicants but doing their best to define the current role. They must consider how to craft a description that attracts a wide range of highly-talented candidates into their pipeline while ensuring they’re not turning off talent before they even apply. Tough stuff.

Consequently, as a job seeker, it’s important to take the job description with a grain of salt and uncover the true needs of the hiring manager during the interview process. Here are some tips:

  1. Be on the lookout for red flags: Keywords or phrases, such as “subject to change,” “the culture here is constantly changing, so you need to be, too,” and other vague descriptors can tip you off that the role’s duties aren’t clearly defined.
  2. Don’t rely on the job description alone: Do your homework before applying for the job. Research the company to discover its mission, goals and values and how the particular position fits in. Investigate the current employees and leaders within the company. These details can help you determine where you may fit in.
  3. Ask the right questions: Instead of nodding along and declining the opportunity to ask questions, be inquisitive. Ask questions that reveal the key issues on the hiring manager’s mind. You will not only earn points for being engaged, but you will also learn more about the person the company is looking for and the role at hand.
  4. Get the help of a recruiter: A recruiter will have unique insights about the company and job at hand. He or she can help you determine if you’re a good fit. At ITAC, we make a point to ask all the right questions and listen to the answers. We believe these insights matter, in fact they are the lifeblood of ITAC because they allow us to carefully evaluate each job and every candidate to facilitate the best possible matches.

The next time you read over a job description, remember that the details matter when you’re searching for your dream job. If you’re interested in getting the help of a recruiter, contact ITAC today!