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 >  Home   >   How to Read Job Advertisements
German Business Etiquette in English

german business etiquette business knigge

How to Read Job Advertisements

- chapter excerpt - 

Many job applications are unsuccessful because applicants do not read job advertisements accurately. Consequently, they do not familiarize themselves with the job requirements. In order to separate the wheat from the chaff as early as possible in the job application process and to avoid unnecessary work for both the applicant and the employer, an applicant should be able to fulfill at least 80% of the listed requirements and identify with the job conditions. If you feel anxious about one of the main listed requirements, it is better to resist applying for the job.

The Job Advertisement

Regardless of whether you are searching on the Internet or in printed materials, a classic, good job ad will tell you the following:

  1. "Wir sind ..." ("We are...")
    ... the self-introduction of a business gives you information on the branch in which the business is involved, tells you which products or services are sold, and mentions the size, market placement and location of the business.
  2. "Wir suchen ..." ("We are looking for...")
    …the job description states a job title and explains the area of responsibiity and addtional work conditions, such as the starting date.
  3. "Wir erwarten ..." ("We expect...")
    ... the job requirements and qualifications that an applicant must fulfill: level of formal education, job experience, addtional qualifications and any soft skills or personal details, such as age.
  4. "Wir bieten ..." ("We offer...")
    ... any special benefits, such as an above average salary, a company car, reimbursements for moving costs, and any out of the ordinary social benefits.
  5. "Wir bitten ..." ("We request...")
    ... information about what you should include in your application (one page resumes only, references, etc.), the application process, as well as the name and telephone number of the contact person, reference word or code to list in the address, etc.

Reading and processing job advertisements

Here are a few tips for systematically going through job ads:

  1. Cut the job ad out of the paper or print it out from the Internet. (Do not forget to note the source and the date of the ad!)
  2. 2. Highlight any key words and check the ad for the following information:
    • Which company is looking for employees? Have you ever heard of it? What is their branch of expertise? How big is the company? Are they known for anything in particular?
    • What is the position to be filled?
    • What are the tasks involved in the job? What does the job profile tell you?
    • Which qualifications and how much experience should an applicant have? (Evaluate in order of importance.)
    • Is there an age limit?
    • Are there chances for career development?
    • Which financial incentives are offered?
    • How should an applicant contact the employer?
    • Should the applicant send a short, one-paged application or a complete application?
    • Is there an application deadline?
    • Are telephone calls welcome?
    • Can you request your salary level?
    • Is the earliest starting date listed?
    • • Is there a restriction notice?
  3. Take notice of the ad's size, the word-choice and the image that it sends. Depending on whether you interpret the ad as sober and technical or relaxed and cool, tells you a lot about the image and tone that the company wants to project. The size of the ad tells you how much value the company places on the job being offered.
  4. Pay attention to the statements that are listed in the advertisement. To make an initial decision on applying or not, concentrate on the degree to which your profile corresponds to the requirements and whether you can see yourself in the position. Also, pay attention to age requirements. If you are well over the age limit, your application will not go far. Also, keep in mind the lower salaries of younger employees.
  5. What seem to be the primary (must-have) requirements and what seem to be the secondary (nice-to-have) requirements for the job?
  6. Based on these criteria, evaluate your profile. How well do you realistically fulfill these requirements? (-- , - , o , + , + +).
  7. While doing this evaluaiton, do not forget to consider your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and main qualifications. Will the job support and use your abilities or does the employer have other priorities? If yes, how can you make up for any discrepancies between your profile and the job requirements?
  8. Based on what you have discovered by comparing your profile with the job ad, come up with three to five arguements for your cover letter:
    • Why are you perfect for this job, and why should the employer hire YOU instead of someone else?
    • Why do you personally see an opportunity in this job, and why exaclty do you want to have THIS job?
  9. Do not forget to take down any questions while going through the the job ads. Call the company and ask about any questions that you have or about anything that is not clear in the advertisement. Also, keep questions in mind for the interview, and always be prepared to answer the question, " Why should we hire you instead of someone else?"

Phrases and standards
...

 


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