Posted by: wendywerner | May 14, 2014

The Narrowing of Job Descriptions

One of the side effects of the recession has been the narrowing of job descriptions. Employers, aware that there are many skilled employees searching for jobs, have written job descriptions that ask for a skill set both more broad and also more focused than most candidates would be expected to have. It is one of the reasons that employers say that they can’t find ‘qualified’ people.

Most jobs require a certain amount of training – and this is also an area that experienced a drop off over the past five years. What is a candidate to do?

Candidates must understand that job descriptions are written for the ‘ideal’ or perhaps unattainable candidate. Employers hire people, not descriptions. Your ability to find out more about the job and access the inside track of people already inside the organization will have a significant impact on your ability to land a job.

While most job descriptions are written for the ideal – your job is to try to learn about the essential functions of the job. What are the most important skills and background that the employer is looking for? If you are able to talk with insiders – it is likely they can share more about what matters most; and what is necessary to win the job. So rather than being discouraged, mine your contacts to find someone who can tell you what is really essential; and see if they can help you get a face to face meeting.


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