Thursday, May 5, 2011

How To Judge a Job Posting

Almost everyday, a job posting is placed on job boards across the Internet.  With the onset of the digital age, job seekers are using these sites more and more as their preferred method of employment search.  Yet not all job postings are created equal.  It is up to you, the nonprofit job hunter, to determine which jobs are worth your time and effort.  Of course, it will not always be so obvious which jobs are not up to par; it's not always as simple as the job doesn't pay well enough, or something like that.  Sometimes, you have to look a little deeper to find out the quality of the organization that is writing the ad.

The first thing you should do when looking at a job posting is to determine the level of effort put into it.  Most online job boards allow employers to enter up to 1,400 words to describe the position.  Now don't worry, you won't have to individually count the words to see if they used them all.  What you need to do here is see if the employer describes the position in a way that leaves no doubt in your mind what you will be expected to do.  If, on the other hand, the job posting reads as if it were just copy and pasted from a stock description, you have to ask yourself whether this is the kind of organization you would want to work for.

Another thing to keep in mind is what the position is going to offer you.  A poor jobs posting will focus on only one thing: the requirements you have to meet to be the ideal candidate.  This is definitely something an employer will need to know, but it is also not enough to attract top candidates.  A good job posting will also add what you, the potential nonprofit employee, will get to learn, who you will be working with, and what you will ultimately accomplish. 

Finally, you should keep an eye out for job postings that not only describe the position, but also the culture of the company.  Let's face it, your dream job is not only going to have to gel with the skills you have, but it's also going to have to be a place you look forward to going to every morning.  The ideal non profit job is going to be a place that is serious, yet also has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  There is nothing worse than having to work in an environment where interaction is limited.  If you eventually go in for an interview, this is the kind of information you can confirm by observing the interactions of the other employees.

Remember, you don't have to apply to every jobs posting that catches your interest.  There is no need to expend energy on an organization that doesn't put the same amount of effort into writing their ads.

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