Searching for a job is like being a spy. You must intercept the [company’s] communications, i.e. job postings, and decode them.
I read this article today on Yahoo! that provided some insight into common terms employers use in advertisements. It made me laugh and cry at the same time.
Employers need people to do the work, but employees need to know what is expected of them, what the job is all about and if they are really going to be valued, or simply used. People who have been unemployed for a while, or may have taken a job and discovered the employer wasn’t honest about it, have grown wise to these tricks.
I once had a job where I really liked going to work each day. The people were terrific, the office casual and the work was interesting. Alas, the business closed. I long for another position like that.
I’ve also taken a job that wasn’t represented to me honestly. I ended up doing someone else’s job while she frequently bailed, even though I was only supposed to cover her one day a week. After doing so, I discovered an unacceptable working condition that was insurmountable. Two months wasted.
No, not wasted. I learned there are some things I simply won’t accept in a position.
So how can job seekers find something they won’t bail on in a few years because it sucks? How can employers assure potential employees truly want to work for them, and want to stay there?
Answer: by asking thoughtful questions in interviews, job seekers can clarify some of these puzzling terms and get a clear picture of what the employer wants. Alison Doyle at about.com has some good ones in this article.
Listen to the answers and make notes if you can. If you get a second interview or an offer, you can refer back to those notes if anything is fuzzy.
Employers can be upfront about what they are looking for. Interviewing is like dating. You’re not going to find the perfect employee, but you may find the perfect one for you.
Evaluate your workplace and compose your posting to reflect its strengths, and the type of person you believe will be successful there. Seek out adverse conditions, impossible people, and eliminate them. Make it a place good people will salivate over. It’s easy to spot and cull the not-so-greats.
Job seekers aren’t the enemy. We’re excited to find a job we’re perfect for, where we get to use all our skills and feel like they’re appreciated. If you treat us right, help us learn and make it clear what you expect from us, we’ll work our butts off for you.