Analysing Vacancies

Understanding the language that employers use in their job advert will put you in a good position to communicate with them in terms that they find clear and meaningful.

When you analyse an employer's description of the skills and competencies they seek, and match them with your own experiences using their language, you make it easier to see how you match the requirements of the job.  You also give yourself an advantage over other candidates who haven't invested in this activity. 

Suggested activities

To decode the job advert and match your application to it, we suggest you undertake the following activity: 

  • Read the job description.
  • To ensure you are clear on the list of requirements for the vacancy underline the following
    • What is your perception of the company culture?
    • Which personal qualities are required?
    • Which technical skills are important in this job?
  • You should now have a feel for the ‘language’ used by the employer so it’s now time to look at your CV, application form or letter of motivation.
  • Reframe your terms into those of the employer. Sometimes this is a simple process. For example, ‘teamwork’ and ‘group work’ can often refer to the same action, so pick the version used by the organisation you are applying to. 
  • Avoid repeating their own words back to them by never using a skills word without qualifying it with a practical example.