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Important Job Requirements to Look out for in Job Listings

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Do you have what it takes to land your dream job and excel at it? The only way to know that before you get it is to review the job requirements. Job requirements are the skills, qualifications, level of experience, and character traits that recruiters expect to see in a candidate that makes him suitable for the vacant role. Reviewing job requirements give you an insight into what the company expects to see in the ideal candidate, and helps you determine if you will be a great fit for the position.

 As job descriptions differ, so do job requirements. Here is a sneak peek into 8 basic job requirement categories that all candidates for different career roles are sifted by.

1. Work Experience

Most people believe that experience is the best teacher, and that is mostly true. While the level of experience does not influence how productive or efficient a person will be, some tips and tricks that improve the quality of work done can only be learned from experience. Volunteer work, internships, and industrial training sessions also count as work experience.

Except a company is on a hunt to fill a senior executive role, experience working in a similar role or with the use of similar skills is usually enough. Generally, entry-level jobs require zero to one year of working experience. Higher-level positions like the role of a manager require more years of working experience. The typical level of work experience required for some careers are:

  • Content Writer – at least 2 to 3 years of experience writing web content.
  • Social Media Manager – at least 2 to 3 years of experience in digital marketing.
  • Project Manager – 4 to 5 years of experience working in a management role

Is there such a thing as too much experience? No. Although new generation companies prefer to hire green leaves who can grow with the company, most firms still follow the standard practice of the more experience, the better.

2. Academic Qualifications

Qualified candidates must have a B.SC in Mass Communication or a related course – sound familiar? For some job roles, a degree in a relevant course is necessary to exhibit excellence. Some companies may highlight that only a high school diploma is necessary, while some others may request even a Master’s or doctorate degree.

Usually, skill-based job roles do not emphasize academic qualifications when listing the job requirements, however, for roles that are dependent on the educational background like Engineering, academic qualifications are essential. Generally, entry-level jobs like a customer service representative, only require an associate’s degree while recruiters are attracted to candidates with greater qualifications for senior-level positions.

Typical Academic Qualifications for some careers include:

  • IT Specialist – At least a B.SC in Computer Science or a related course.
  • Accountant – B.A degree in Accounting.
  • Reporter /Journalist – B.A degree in Linguistics or Mass Communication.

Can a candidate who is overqualified for a job role still not get it? Yes. Companies mostly steer away from candidates who are overly qualified for a job role, except when seeking to fill vacancies in senior executive roles. The solution is to strike a balance and apply to jobs specifically on the lookout for your level of academic qualification.

3. Personality

Including expected personality traits and attributes in a job description is the company’s way of showcasing its work culture and values. When you review the job requirements in a job listing, pay special attention to this part because it gives a little insight into the company’s work environment. You can also use it as a yardstick to evaluate if you are a good fit for the role – or if the career opportunity is a good fit for you.

A typical outline for the personality traits expected in an ideal content writer contained in a job listing would be:

We are looking for a content writer who is naturally creative, innovative, and always willing to learn new things. He or she is not afraid of working independently but can function excellently as part of a team. Our ideal content writer must be able to meet up with deadlines consistently, without compromising quality.

From this, you can deduce two things:

  • The company’s ideal content writer is a creative, innovative, goal-getter who is also an active listener.
  • The company is supportive of growth, is results-driven, and encourages teamwork.

Are personality traits a big deal? Although most companies hire for expertise and quality of work delivered, employers are more inclined to hire and train candidates who seem to be the perfect fit personality-wise. So, if you have the qualifications but still have trouble landing jobs, you may need to tweak your personality.

4. Awards, Achievements, Licenses, and Certifications

This job requirement is mostly highlighted in career opportunities in the health sector, engineering field, technology industry, and other technical fields. For job roles that perform sensitive or specialized tasks, you will be required to prove your credibility by showcasing the right license and relevant certifications. Examples of such job roles include:

  • Doctor
  • Medical Representative
  • Pharmacist
  • Architect
  • Legal Experts
  • Programmers

                       …and so on.

5. Niche-Specific Knowledge

Candidate must be proficient in the use of operating systems, knowledge of programming languages is a plus – is a typical example of a part of a job description for a technical writer role. When a candidate possesses the stated niche-specific knowledge in a job description, it gives him an edge over his counterparts.

Niche-specific knowledge is an addition to a person’s skill set that is often acquired as a result of further personal development or work experience. This job requirement is mostly included in job listings for tech-related job roles, engineering, creative arts and design, and research.

6. Skill Set

Companies always highlight the relevant soft skills and technical skills they expect the ideal candidate for a vacant job role to have in addition to their qualifications. For skill-based career opportunities, this is the most important job requirement to meet.

 With the ongoing digitalization movement in the business world, technical skills like computer literacy, knowledge of the use of database systems, proficiency in the use of PowerPoint, and so on, have become essential regardless of industry or niche.  

Typical additional skills required for some careers include:

  • Graphic Designer – Knowledge of the use of Canva Pro.
  • UI/UX Designer – Knowledge of the use of CAD design.
  • Content Writer – Search Engine Optimization Skills
  • Advertisement Manager – Knowledge of Google Analytics

Why is developing a skill set essential? A skill set isn’t only important because it positions you as a better choice to trust with jobs, it also helps you stay relevant in a saturated industry.

7. Language Proficiency

This job requirement is more relevant to the company than it is for the job role. While it is a general requirement that all employees be fluent in speaking and writing English, multi-national companies may also require their potential employees to be fluent in some indigenous languages as well.

8. Role-specific Ability

Some companies may go further to specify expected work conditions in the requirement section of the job listing. From simple things like the ability to stand for long hours, or lift heavy objects, to being open to relocation or constant travel, some job roles demand more than qualifications.

Always Review the Job Requirements

Most job seekers only take a glance at the title of a job listing, and the estimated pay range before clicking on apply. In doing so, they miss out on valuable information that can be used to tailor their resume properly to the fit new job role. When reviewing job listings, dwell a while longer on the requirements sections and compare the ones stated to the ones you possess, and determine if the job will be a good fit for you. That will save you from applying to fruitless opportunities. Do you have to meet all the specified requirements for a job role before you can apply? Although meeting the preferred requirements gives you an added advantage, you can apply to any job posting as long as you meet the minimum requirements. Keep your fingers crossed!

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Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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