Analyze the job advertisement like a detective


What do you know? What don't you know?

Have you found a posting that looks interesting? Great! Put on your detective glasses and read it again. The ad is your first clue on what the company wants. But don’t believe everything it says.

Sometimes, the company knows exactly what they’re looking for, but sometimes they don’t. They know they want someone but aren’t totally sure about what they want that person to do. Or they’re not able to describe it.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I know about the position and the company?
  • What do I not know about the position and the company?

These are the two most important questions you can ask yourself after reading a job ad. What you don’t know is almost just as important as what you do know. Then you know what to do research on.

 

What to look for in the ad:

The ad often has a list of tasks they want to you to do. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t do all of them. It’s the employers ultimate wish list. And they know that they most likely won’t get all of it. Think of it as the employer’s prioritized order of competences. Not all of them are need-to-have but nice-to-have.

Identify:

  • Which tasks seem important to the employer? Which are described first?
  • Which skills are most important?
  • Are there words/work functions that are mentioned more than once? Then they’re probably significant.
  • What about language? Many ads are in Danish, but unless clearly stated that Danish is required, call and ask. Not all employers are aware of the huge pool of international students, and you might just be the right person for the job. Get help on how to call a company.

Once you have done your analysis, it will be easier for you to target your application to the specific job or company. Continue your research here.


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