According to a recent survey shared in the Wall St Journal, job seekers spent an average of only 49.7 seconds reading a job description before dismissing a position as a poor fit. If job seeker feels that they don’t have all the skills listed in a job post, then they are very unlikely to apply.
What causes people to dismiss job descriptions so quickly? Can you really understand the requirements of a role in less than a minute? How can professionals overcome intimidation to secure their dream job?
The simple truth is that when people can become intimidated by a job description due to an overwhelming perception that only qualified applicants should ever apply. In fact, according to a survey shared in Harvard Business Review, 46.4% of men and 40.6% of women didn’t apply to an open position because they believed that they didn’t meet the job qualifications and did not want to waste time and effort in applying.
This demonstrates that nearly half of all people don’t apply to job postings if they don’t feel fully qualified, but it’s important to understand that ‘imposter syndrome’ is a real affliction that could be holding you back from finding your next job.
This article will help explain why you shouldn’t be intimidated by job descriptions and how to use a fearless attitude in your job search to your advantage.
✅ Understand That Job Descriptions Are Never Perfect
The truth is that any job description is just written by someone else in that company or occasionally by an outside recruiting or HR firm.
In some cases, job descriptions are even just a ‘copy & paste’ outline that has been used for years by an organization. Simply put, job descriptions are never perfect, so you shouldn’t read them as a literal checklist of qualifications because the organization’s needs might not be fully reflected by the job post.
To help you avoid pitfalls, here are a few common job description mistakes that people make:
- They use jargon that doesn’t fully describe the role
- They write generic or vague descriptions
- The list of responsibilities seems endless
- Poor formatting makes it hard to understand the job requirements
- They use gender-biased language that alienates potential applicants
✅ Use Lateral Thinking When Evaluating Jobs
While the best job application advice will guide job seekers to mirror job descriptions in their resumes during the application process, job seekers should use lateral thinking when evaluating a job description. This can help professionals seeking a new position better understand the intent of a job posting and cater to the organization’s desired outcome in a new hire.
Here are a few tips to help you evaluate a job description with better insight:
- Research the company in more detail and try to understand a specific role fits into the larger organization
- Try to infer what skills are necessary for the role based on the responsibilities rather than the qualifications section
- Be creative when understanding your own experience in relation to the job requirements.
✅ Change Your Mindset When Seeking a Job
Ultimately, it’s your career, and you are the only one able to define what job satisfaction means to you. The question you need to ask yourself before any application is – do I really want this job?
Finding a new job can be challenging, but it’s important for professionals to prioritize themselves and their careers within their job search. If fear of rejection or intimidation of applying prevents you from advancing your career, then you may end up settling for a job that is below your skill level or fail to advance your career in a meaningful way.
In the end, you will need to be tireless and brave to find the best job possible, but changing the dynamic to perceive an application as your priority rather than the organization’s need, will help you take greater risks and extend your professional reach.
✅ Apply Even if You Don’t Have All the Skills
If you are interested in a job, then you should apply with confidence and effort regardless of any dissonance between a job description and your professional experience.
Firstly, you have an advantage over all of the people who were too intimidated to even apply. Secondly, it provides you with an opportunity to practice demonstrating your experience for a job that will help you advance your career.
40% of Hiring Managers spend less than one minute reviewing your resume, and approximately 20% of applicants receive a job interview as part of the job application process.
Simply put, by just submitting your resume and cover letter, you may be giving yourself a greater opportunity than you expected.