Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ignore Advertised Job Requirements?

According to this article, you can sometimes afford to ignore the job requirements listed in an advertisement.

There are real people who write those ads, and they are perhaps desperate to get an exact match for something like this: "Wanted: someone to run coffee. Sub-minimum wage plus tips. Must hold Master's Degree in English." Some are delusional, and some just over-reaching themselves.

First, know your market. In Boston, the market is so saturated with people looking for work that last I checked, they actually were advertising for secretaries with master's degrees. But in Buffalo? Not so much. (Which was one reason I left Boston on the first thing smoking.)

Second, know the kind of work being described. If you have a new B.A. in English, but no internships, no on-campus activities, and your main claim to fame is a high score on Tetris (achieved when you were ten years old)--you might want to change your style. But if you've been writing your own blog, and have some claim to unpaid expertise in the industry or skill being sought by an employer--why not apply?

Third, get your ducks in a row. Make sure you have professional references who will speak well of you, a portfolio or other evidence of your awesomeness, and have several versions of your "elevator speech" and "why you should hire me talk" down pat.

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