Jbo Dcesirtpoins (WTH?)

29 03 2010
From Michelle Fischer’s Talent Management Blog (Thanks!)

Job descriptions are as cryptic as they can be nowadays.  “Editorial Manager”, “Associate”, “Marketing Specialist”, “Strategic Emerging Business Technologies Marketing-Strategy Operations Bulldog Analyst”.  Blah!  You get my drift.

Job descriptions suck.  But you don’t have to suck at applying to them, too.

Here’s the thing.  Even if you have no experience, you really do have some.  Think hard.

  1. What industries have you worked in?
  2. What role did you have within that industry?

Maybe your answer is 1) Retail and 2) Sales Associate or 1) Financial and 2) Market Analyst Intern.  These are all experiences on your resume that employers will look at to gauge whether or not you match that cryptic job description they posted on their website.

I often get requests to get submitted for the “Marketing” or “Strategy” positions by people who don’t have any kind of experience in marketing.  It’s not gonna happen, unless they are okay with someone who has 0 marketing experience.  Would you be okay with that?

There are lots of “sexy” job titles out there that EVERYONE is applying to (Fancy words draw you in like… “Marketing”, “Analyst”, “Strategy”, and “Manager”).  Here’s the secret–you’re more likely to get the job if you have direct experience doing it!!!!!!!!  So don’t be fooled by a sexy job title or a sexy product.  It’s so important to read through the “responsibilities” and “requirements” and ask:  Do I meet all these criteria? If you meet them, you will likely get a call back.  If you find yourself saying, “I can do that, even though I don’t have experience in it”, you probably won’t get a call back, unless you’re brilliant in another way.

Here’s an example from my college days:  Application after application, I started submitting to analyst roles.  I got an F in Calculus.  Do you think I should be an analyst?  I had no idea that I wasn’t a fit for the role.  I just applied and crossed my fingers for it, because it sounded so sexy and everyone else was doing it.  Wouldn’t you want to do it, too?

Yeah, but you shouldn’t.  You should focus on applying to things that you have experience in.  Stay true to your roots.  Unless you are trying to change careers, in which case, we should have a separate conversation.

Consider that the title of a job description don’t mean a thing.  You could be applying to the King of the World role and you would find out that they are actually looking for someone to manage a world that’s actually a 3’x4′ cardboard box (kind of like Snoopy did above!).  Do your diligence and read through the meat and potatoes of what they are saying in the body of the job description and make sure that you fit every single requirement!

Aha!  Not so cryptic any more.

Note:  For highly competitive companies, they may not call you back, even if you meet all their requirements.  I know I didn’t get a lot of calls back just because of the volume of applications they get, inflating the quality of their pool of applicants.




5 responses

7 04 2010

Thanks for this nice article. I enjoyed reading it.

24 04 2010
Tweets that mention Jbo Dcesirtpoins (WTH?) « Awesome & Unemployed -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SNC Career Services. SNC Career Services said: Learn the secret to decoding cryptic job descriptions and it may help you get the job! http://bit.ly/9lASFX […]

23 06 2010

While I enjoy this blog very much, I disagree with you on this post. I disagree that prior experience in a field should be a pre-requiste in getting a specific job. I think you should revisit your thoughts in this area.

People have differing degrees of: intelligence, creativity, motivation, education, culture, life experiences, etc… All of these are factors in how well one can perform a job. There are definitely people who have no experience in a given field who can out-peform people who have much more experience in the field. There are some people who are very fast learners and who can quickly catch-up with and surpass people who have been performing a certain job for years. My cousin has been working for a certain company for two years, and he has been promoted to a higher position than some people who have been working at the company for over ten years.

Another example: I have one friend who majored in marketing and was a straight A student. I have another friend who was a history major with no prior marketing experience. They both work for the same marketing company and started working there at the same time. The one with no marketing experience has advanced in her career much faster than the friend with a degree in marketing. The friend with no marketing experience is consistently prized for her innovative solutions and accurate gut feelings on what should be done.

Experience can often be a bad thing because one gets too stuck in a formulaic manner of doing things or approaching problems. One ends up missing innovative solutions that are often better. Marketing involves a great degree of common sense and know-how, and one needs no prior marketing experience to have such qualities.

President Obama had very little pertinent experience, and he still got elected.

I think your advice in this post is not thoughtful enough.

23 06 2010

Also, your example of getting an F in Calculus (it’s a hard subject!) is not persuasive in your overall argument that one should not apply to a job in which one has no prior experience. You shouldn’t apply to jobs where you have a record of failure–that makes sense. But failure is not the same as no experience. A lot of experiences and skills are transferable. And many of the most prestigious career counselors advise people on how to transfer skills from one job to a completely different type of job.

25 06 2010

Thanks for the feedback, Sarah. I’m glad you brought other perspectives to the blog. My advice is not a bible on how to get a job. They are just some of my opinions and reflections on mistakes that I’ve made in the past. If these tricks work for you, too, then great! If not, then just take what you need and that’s all you need!

Kudos to those that were lucky to find jobs without direct experience. When you are early in your career, you’re often more malleable and can do anything. It all depends on the needs of the company and their faith in you to deliver on those needs, based on SOMETHING that stuck out to them on your resume. I would bet that your friend had some kind of common denominator that made her recruiter see potential in her, like she exhibited smarts, leadership, or something else that they happen to value in that company. Big companies can do this, because they have the ability to support your development and ways to grow you properly. Other medium and small companies, probably don’t have that development support and can’t afford for you to ramp up slowly. Any direct experience you have cuts down the learning curve when you walk in the door. Meaning that you’re productive faster. Companies like that.

I was S.O.L. when I graduated and rejected 49 out of 50 times before I finally figured out what kind of role I was good for. The only companies I got interviews for were the ones that I actually had some kind of experience in prior to applying. Odd, but true. I was rejected for every finance, marketing, and admin role in the world, and I only landed interviews for PR and HR roles, because of my experience. If I were as lucky as your friend, I might not have a blog today!

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