I was recently coaching a very smart, very engaging, 40+ babyboomer who found a job description that she claimed was her perfect job: the field: Creative Director/Event Programming, the location: Greenwich Village, the company: a non-profit she deeply respected.
We met for a mock interview session and I asked to take a look at the job description. We reviewed it together line-by-line as it was almost 2 pages long.
Job Hunting Tip 101: read the job description thoroughly before applying – right?!
As we reviewed it together, it became clear to me that she hadn’t read it through completely. To quote Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman: BIG MISTAKE!!!
If you haven’t read EVERYTHING in a job description, you are on unstable footing. It’s the only way to ensure you can do everything required! This information bolsters your confidence, helps with your interview delivery, and adds to your determination to get the job. It’s absolutely critical!
Job Hunting Tip 202: most hiring managers have 3 – 4 non-negotiable/critical deal breaker aspects to a job and you should be able to identify these in a job description. Usually, about 10 – 20% of the job description is negotiable. So if you can deliver on the majority of the requirements, apply for the job and lead with your strengths during the interview.
Back to my client: she put a check mark next to almost every aspect of the job description as she recounted her past experiences and successes. I also ensured that she quantified everything possible, and told her story in a compelling way.