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How to analyse and breakdown a job advert

A job advert can do a lot more for you than just tell you what you’re applying for. You just need to know how to break it down properly.

Use the following points to truly get to grips to the job you’re applying for and alter your application material appropriately:

These 6 areas can be seen in all job adverts. As well as telling you what the job is, the ad will also give you hints as to the tasks involved and what they’re looking for in an applicant on a personal and professional level. There will also be useful bits of information about the company you’re applying for.

We’ve analysed the ad below to show you how it’s done.

1) Job purpose

The job advert is looking to hire a Recruitment Consultant.

Get it on your application:

You must now think like someone with this job. Think about what they do.

Research the profession.

For example: A recruitment consultant is the middle-man between those looking for jobs and a professional company with vacancies. You must show you have effective communication skills. Paid or voluntary work experience demonstrates this.

2) Main tasks

The key tasks are developing business relationships and managing the recruitment process.

Get it on your application:

• Highlight experiences you have in talking to clients, if possible on a regular basis. This could be in a job, voluntary placements, university societies or whilst conducting research for your degree.

• Casual jobs such as club promotion and waitressing are examples of engaging and building a professional relationship and rapport with customers.

• Point out any times you have managed a process from beginning to end. This could be organising a trip or setting and managing staff rotas as a supervisor in a part-time job.

3) Key skills

The job will involve you telephoning prospective clients and candidates by canvassing, as well arranging visits with new clients.

Get it on your application:

• Telephone canvassing is almost a type of selling and involves good communication skills. Do you have examples of this or any customer service skills? Have you worked in a call centre?

• Meeting clients also involves acting as a representative of your company. Have you represented your fellow students as a course representative at meetings, of a university society or had this duty in a job?

4) Personal Qualities

They are looking for ambitious and driven people.

Get it on your application:

• Do you have any examples of striving to improve yourself? Maybe you got bad marks in a module and then decided to work really hard to improve them or you’re taking a course in your spare time.

• Can you demonstrate a driven personality? Have you been successful in sports or getting awards? In a work environment have you reached/surpassed your targets?

5) Company info

This is a big company with a good reputation.

Get it on your application:

• Can you explain why you want to work with this kind of company rather than a smaller one?

• The company is international. Do you want to work abroad and if so do you have any language skills or an interest/experience in travel?

• The job is in Edinburgh. Would you be up for moving?

6) Roles and responsibilities

This job is at entry-level, preferably for a graduate, and offers a lot of training.

Get it on your application:

Do you have any examples of an area where you have enjoyed and responded to high levels of training? Have you been promoted in a part-time job?

This level of training also means that the company has specific procedures and set standards to follow, they will be very keen to see if you can adapt to their values. Are you this kind of individual and can you show examples of being methodical and following procedures?

It offers the chance to develop. Are you interested in this and can you demonstrate an example such as being the team captain of a sports team?

By looking at every job like this, you’ll be able to highlight your best assets effectively and land the role of your dreams!