De-code the job | Main Region | UB

two colleagues looking at a computer screen in an office setting
Have you ever looked at the job title of a recruitment ad and think you’ve never heard of the role, only to then read the description and realise it’s the job you’ve just been doing? Sometimes it feels like there are 23 different names for the same role, and many oblique ways to describe its functions. So how can you understand if it’s the job for you and what the role entails?

The dangers of job jargon

Our recruitment consultants have seen more job adverts than most and some can be incredibly confusing to the point of being intimidating for potential candidates who would actually be good for the role. Recently Canva analysed some 6.3 million ads worldwide and found that 38 per cent of job ads use confusing phrases and words.1
This confusion can put you off applying and make you flick to the next ad. Apparently applicants take between 49 and 77 seconds to decide whether a job is for them, according to another piece of research2 and so if an ad doesn’t grab you straight away you may move on. Stop and delve deeper if something resonates with you.
Put all of these facts together and it’s not surprising that the latest generation to join the workforce is most affected, with their need for quick information more prevalent. Research from Business in the Community indeed found that such jargon is putting young people applying for many roles.3 If that’s the case for you, then seek out a mentor with more experience or talk to us at Hays.

Unrealistic criteria

Alongside confusing jargon, there is the question of unrealistic criteria, with many companies loading up the list or requirements, seemingly in search of an entry level unicorn. Again, this can put you off applying – with surprisingly the affect being greater with females.
Research has shown that 16% of females are less likely to apply to a job after viewing it, and generally apply for 20% fewer jobs than men. While men will apply for a role if they only meet 60% of the criteria, women feel they need to meet 100%.4

Life is short, apply for the job

Putting the question of criteria to one side for a second, the jargon element that we’ve covered is the easiest barrier to overcome – find a good recruitment partner. At Hays we have seen every iteration of job interview ever created, with every turn of phrase ever used. We’re always happy to walk you through meanings with our de-coding hats on. Alternatively, take the ad in small parts and put them through Google or a business dictionary to pull apart each part of the advert.
As for meeting the criteria, again we can help, but as a rule of thumb, be like the men and apply for a role if you meet 60% of the requirements. For one, it might be that you meet the most important 60% of the 100%. In fairness, many job ads do now stipulate how much of the criteria you need to possess before applying.
If you feel that the majority of your skills and experience match what is being asked, then make the leap - because there really is no harm in applying.
If you want to kill two birds with one stone, it really helps if you know somebody at the organisation you’re applying to – they can cut through the BS and tell you what the relevant department does and is looking to recruit for.

You’ve got everything to gain

So you understand the ad and meet most of the criteria. You’ve put away your imposter syndrome and you do actually WANT the job – you’d be surprised how many people apply for jobs they don’t actually want. As a rule of thumb for this one, ask yourself if you’d be excited to get an interview.
Whether you get the job or not, there are plenty of reasons to apply.
For one, it’s great experience – especially if it’s been a while since your last application or interview. All practice is good, and you’ll also get a sense of your worth. If you aren’t getting interviews, then maybe you need to brush up your CV and cover letter. And if you’re not getting second interviews then ask yourself what you need to improve on at interview stage.
If there’s a particular organisation you want to work for, then applying for a few jobs might get you in the door to learn more about them. 
And finally, there’s that serendipitous thing called luck. Who knows who is on the end of your application. It’s a small world with many connections and we don’t know what we don’t know – perhaps the Gods will smile on you and someone will know someone, and well… just apply.

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