How to read a Job posting and understand

Over the ages, the tradition of job posting has improved and technologically developed from just a small advertisement in newspaper to the gigantic network of online blogs and emails and even the job postings on their active websites on the internet as well.

If you are an active jobseeker looking for employment in the contemporary world, reading job advertisements and sending in your resumes and application for the particular position would be a part of your life’s daily routine.

You see a job posting in a newspaper or over an online website sponsoring a particular advertisement of a job opening. You send in an application with a resume and wait for a reply whereas after all the wait all you get back is an automated Thank You Message over an email. It is quite disappointing for job applicants to get a response like this after so much work and research they did for filing this job application and sometimes it has been told that the job applicants don’t get back a reply at all.

A talk with the job recruiters resulted in a disappointing manner that majority of the applicants filed either do not match the qualifications or they interpreted the job posting in a wrong manner.


Recruiters mostly use quite an appealing language by using provocative terms which are difficult to understand and sometimes might confuse many of its readers. This kind of language is used by the employers to sell their jobs in a much distinct and unique way to provide a better impression of their company as compared to its competitors so that they get to obtain the best applicants available.

So how can the particular applicant figure out what exactly is the employer looking for? A survey shows that majority of the job applicants applying for a job read the job posting for almost one minute to less than five minutes whereas only a small amount of people pay attention by spending time of at least nine minutes.

At a first glance, a job posting might seem difficult for you when involving all those catchy words in the posting. But when you cut through the jargon you’ll totally find out a pretty straightforward message written in a basic and simple language without any further need of any deep understanding and thoughts. Unfortunately, since many employers have reduced the size of the recruiting teams in their organizations which results in a few individuals handling dozens of open positions.

Consequently, they lack the time to write clear, simple and informative job postings rather they prefer the traditional style of job postings based on requirements and responsibilities.

The requirement and responsibilities portion in a job posting is perhaps the most important section that needs to be taken into consideration carefully as it features the skills and work an employer is looking for in an employee. This portion is what employers have specifically highlighted for the job applicants to know if you’re qualified enough to apply or not.

However, being qualified to apply and wanting to apply are two different phenomenon. Job titles can often be misleading and vague in their message being conveyed to the applicant whereas it would mean different for an employer. Just because you have worked over a particular designation in an organization doesn’t means you fulfill the requirements for the same designation or post in a different organization. In the same manner, a job applicant might overlook a particular job posting due to its title or designation in that organization but reading a post fully with its requirements and responsibilities might make you recognize that it might be a good match for your set of skills and experience.

Since it is quite necessary to know the missions and values of the employer, the organization’s job posting will not provide that necessary information as to why you are a good fit for this job. The employers or the organization cannot help you evaluate these openings because they fail to show what this job brings for you.

What’s in it for you?

A lot of questions are raised in the mind when you go through a job posting trying to determine the answer for what this job offers you? A close descriptive read to a job posting might raise a few questions in your minds.

#1 What is the responsibility of this job?

This question is normally answered by the opportunities portion as to what the key responsibilities will be and according to your experience evaluate the opportunity compared to this position.

#2 Who do you get to work with?

This question mostly relates to the cultural environment the particular company maintains among its colleagues and workers which can be explained through a little research over the internet about the company itself.

#3 What do you get to learn?

This question is related to the job offer itself and what opportunities it provides so that you get to work on your maximum capacity and get to learn much about work or not.

#4 What do you get to achieve?

Evaluate the impact and importance of the position enlisted in the job posting and assess how helpful this position might prove for your future.

#5 What rewards and recognitions the position brings with it?

It is quite important to know about this question when it comes to job postings. This mostly relates to the salary and the benefits being offered by the company as means of compensation for working for their company. Employers could certainly address these basic questions in his job postings listed above so that the job applicants can have a clear idea of what they are signing up for and what the employer is looking for.

What does it all mean?

Sometimes it’s quite difficult to interpret a job posting with all those coded and catchy words being written in a job posting to sound attractive and for remembering. Mostly there are a few common words and phrases majority of the job postings include to be concise and brief in their description. Words like dynamic and problem solver implies the requirement for someone who is filled with confidence for working on new tasks and projects and innovate yourself into finding solutions for different problems.

Whenever a job posting mentions proven track record and self-starter, it means the employer is looking for someone with quite a portfolio of experience and thus can take action when needed without providing any further guidance and the employee could take charge on a particular project. The word proactive is quite similar too. It mentions the need of such an employee who could work without the need of any instructions on any project.

Words like team player and flexible implies the requirement of such an employee that can easily work within a company’s cultural environment among different ethnicities. Whereas flexible focuses over the need of employee to work over different timings and travel and stay overnight in some cases too. Furthermore, words like fast learner, core competences and ability to communicate at all levels are among the most commonly used terminologies in job postings that needs to be addressed for applicant to know.

Fast learner implies that the company will not be training you in anyway and you need to learn as the job goes.

Core competences refer to the major skill sets required for a particular job whereas ability to communicate at all levels mean who have a capacity to talk and communicate effectively from the lowest position in a company to the highest position known and be comfortable about it.

Commitment to equal opportunities is a requirement the employer mentions for the employee to have equal preference for both the colleagues and the customers. Contrary to this requirement, customer focused is also sometimes asked as a requirement where it is mentioned that the employee needs to be quite customer oriented and their needs should always be put up first. Sometimes words like stakeholders being mentioned confuses the applicants a lot as this terminology is quite rare among the job postings. Stakeholders mean having an investment or a share in the particular company or organization.

Perhaps the most important and common word being referred to in a job posting these days which refers to the rewards and offerings of a particular job posting is the usage of the words like competitive salary and benefits in the job posting which provides a clear cut idea in a straightforward language about the employer’s intent to provide a handsome compensation for your work at the company along with many benefits which mostly includes the health care or the travel costs within the company when the job is offered. This word is quite common and mostly represents an attractive portion of a job posting resulting in many applicants opting towards the post since these words make the post sound attractive and easy to remember. Nowadays job postings might have become concise and brief making it difficult to convey a proper message to its applicant audience but a deep research along with spending time over the post might provide you with the clear message the employer is trying to convey.

This content is based on How To Apply For a Job and How To Ace a Job Interview