Decoding the Job Post: It’s All in the Details

Posted: 2021-07-26 2:13:18 PM by WorkInCulture editor | with 0 comments

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TIP 7: It’s All in the Details (How to Apply)

So you posted a job posting on a job board (ideally on WIC’s JobBoard) and now you sit back and watch your inbox as it fills up with applications from eager job seekers. What is one of the first things that you notice? Well, most likely it’ll be the subject line or lack thereof and the ease/difficulty in sorting out the applications from other messages you might be receiving.  
In the “How to Apply” section, which is usually included at the very bottom of the job description, it’s helpful (for everyone involved) to include instructions on how applicants can send in their applications. Also, the more transparent you are, the less likely you’ll be disappointed/frustrated in the reviewing process. Furthermore, by including details in this section, you are being inclusive and equitable in your hiring practice and making it clear what your expectations are from the get-go – especially for job seekers who are newcomers and unfamiliar with Canadian HR practices. With that said, consider including the following information in the “How to Apply” section:
  • Where should applications be sent? To what email address? To whom should it be addressed to?
  • When should they be sent? What’s the application deadline date?
  • What should the subject line be or include?
  • What format will you accept applications (PDF or word doc)? Should the CV and cover letter be saved as one file or separate files? How would you like the files to be named? For example, name file as: Last name -Title of position – CV
  • Will you accept applications saved in colour or black and white only?
  • How many pages will you accept for a CV and Cover letter?
  • Would you like examples of work/portfolio sent as well?
Lastly, don’t leave it to the applicant to decide how their application should be presented and sent. Be clear about your expectations and if an applicant does not follow your detailed instructions – take it as a sign that the applicant cannot follow instructions and may not be the right fit for your organization.
Your application is probably the most important opportunity (foot in the door) to securing that job that you’ve been eyeing.  So, once you’ve made the decision to apply to a job posting, read the “How to Apply” section, not once, not twice, but several times. Think of it as the key to the door. First, note the application deadline date and set a reminder on your calendar. Next, do – your – research. The job posting shouldn’t be the only thing you dissect. Visit the organization’s website and study it. Then, look the organization up on LinkedIn and check out the “People” tab on their page; find out who currently holds the position you’re applying for and visit their profile to see if your professional and or educational background is similar. Then look up who you would be reporting to. Read everyone’s bio either on the website or through their LinkedIn profiles to get a sense of who you would be working with. If you still think you’d fit in nicely given their mission, vision, values, and who works there, prepare your application specifically for the position based on their requirements and instructions under the “How to Apply” section. Don’t be afraid to express yourself, while keeping in mind the organization’s brand and culture. Therefore, if you’re applying to a creative position like a marketing position and the organization comes across as modern and hip – consider upping your game by showing off your graphic design skills in your CV and Cover letter format. Though, be sure to print off your application in black and white before emailing it, to ensure that it’s legible when printed – as search committees usually review printed applications. And remember, if you don’t get asked for an interview – it’s because there’s a better position out there for you. So please don’t get discouraged.

Job Post Tips
For tips on how to write or read a job post visit:
Tip 1 on salary ranges
Tip 2 on highlighted sections
Tip 3 on job benefits
Tip 4 on career levels
Tip 5 on job types
Tip 6 on location/work place

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