As you gear up a potential job search (whether new or something you’ve been doing for awhile), you may have that fear of being on the other side of the table. The one looking. Getting your resume polished, LinkedIn updated, coffee dates scheduled and cover letters written isn’t all the work you’ll put into your job search. Reading endless articles (like this one) on tips, advice and anything to give you a leg up in the search is an important step.
You may choose to network your way to a job, which is always the most successful way to conduct a job search. But we all have a tendency to look at the current job openings and still submit our resumes into the “black hole” hoping for a response or bite. Here are a few warning signs to look for when applying for a job – solely based on the job description. This doesnt mean an experience will go poorly based on the job description. Take this ] as an opportunity to discuss potential concerns with the hiring manager, recruiter or HR before moving forward in the process.
Errors in the Job Description
Typos, spelling errors, grammatical issues are all warning signs to think over before applying to a job. Now, it could be a careless mistake by a busy recruiter or recruiting coordinator in a rush to get a job posted. But how do you think the recruiting process will go if there are already mistakes in the job description?
You found the right company that appeals to you. You found the right job title and role that would look perfect on your business card. But you can’t seem to figure out what the actual day-to-day responsibilities of the job are because there are only 3 – 4 sentences about the actual role. So you google yourself silly and scour LinkedIn trying to find more answers about the company and more importantly the role. Someone didn’t take the time to think thoughtfully about the role and elaborate on the job description. How do you think your first month will go on the job? Will someone be available to give you more detail, train you and answer all your questions?
Long Hour Signs
“Work hard, play hard”. “Fast-paced environment”. “Start-up mentality”. All of these phrases could be very innocent and represent an alluring environment. But it could also be code word for long days and weekend work. If you are taking classes part-time, have family requirements or are training for your next marathon, 12+ hour days may not be in your future. Be curious about this during the interview process, ask questions and be honest.
Humorous Job Descriptions
With start-ups popping up all over the place, companies are trying to get cute and funny with their job descriptions. Some of them do a great job in sounding personable, welcoming and approachable. Others just sound so silly. And strange. We all want to work in a fun environment with great managers and team members. But we also want to accomplish, achieve and feel successful in our jobs. Make sure you are going to a place that provides that balance – not an unorganized circus. The job description can give you some great questions to ask about the culture during the interview process.
The Responsibilities Are Endless
So you found the right company and the right job. But my goodness, the responsibilities list almost 20 bullets long. Is this all for one person? Would I be able to handle all these responsibilities on a day-to-day basis? This is the opposite of the person who put no time into the job description. The hiring manager may have unrealistic expectations of what one person could handle. Or they may have been extremely thorough in laying out all potential responsibilities with further expectations to be clarified during the interview process. Make sure if you apply to one of these jobs you ask about how the responsibilities will be prioritized or staggered.
No matter how you conduct your job search, never be afraid to ask questions and voice your concerns. Its easier to walk away before a relationship starts than if you leave your current job and realize you walked into a situation that didnt set you up to succeed.