Job Search: How to Read and Understand Job Postings


Filling out job applications can be a long, tedious, and often frustrating process for a lot of would-be candidates. On top of having to sift through a seemingly endless barrage of job postings, you also have to be well-versed in the elusive language some employers purposely plant into their job advertisements. While it doesn’t necessarily take a master sleuth to effectively decipher what all of the buzzwords and key phrasing mean, it certainly helps to gain an in-depth understanding of what each employer is looking for and what they have to offer. Before you embark on job searching, it helps to familiarize yourself with all of the miniscule nuances that are common among different types of job posts so you’re better prepared moving forward.

Common Characteristics of Job Advertisements

Job postings provide prospective employers with a good opportunity to communicate what they’re looking for in potential candidates and what they have to offer in return in terms of wages and benefits packages. They can also help job seekers gain a strong understanding of what to expect from the advertised vacant position and whether the role is a good fit for them and vice versa. Aside from that, detailed job postings are also designed to highlight certain attributes, company values, qualifications, and objectives that make for a very selective and refined job search experience from both the job seeker’s and employer’s perspective. The following is a list of sections you should pay special attention to when reading through a job post and what they can tell you about the position and the company as a whole.

Job Title

The job title should be overtly stated at the very top of the posting. It gives you an indication what type of job and company you’re applying for and what some of your responsibilities might be in that position. Of course, further details regarding job description will follow immediately below. At first glance, however, you should be able to glean a general understanding of what the job entails simply from reading the job title. Try to find creative and discreet ways of including the job title throughout your resumé as this will make it stand out more than those of other candidates applying for the same position. It demonstrates to employers that you possess a keen attention to detail.

Job Description

This section provides a detailed outline of exactly everything that’s expected of the successful candidate who takes on the specified position. It should be noted that certain job titles entail slightly different responsibilities, duties, and expectations across different companies and industries, so it’s essential to read this part carefully before submitting your application.

Employment Type/Contact Details

Employment type specifies whether the position you’re applying for is part-time, full-time, on a contract basis, temporary, or permanent. Make sure that the terms of employment are clearly stated throughout the job posting and that you have a clear comprehension of what they are before applying for the position. If this information isn’t readily available from the get-go, then it may be in your best interest to inquire about it either prior to or during your initial interview.

Requirements, Experience, Qualifications

This section is the meat and potatoes of every professionally composed job posting, and it’s crucial when it comes to helping job seekers determine their compatibility with the job and company for which they’re applying. Always ask yourself whether you meet the standards that are outlined in this section. Chances are, you won’t be able to tick off every point on the list, but you should at the very least comply with the major requirements such as level of industry experience and education.


Similar to the previously mentioned section, the responsibilities outlined in the job posting should match with the capabilities and experience that you bring to the table. All of the points outlined in this section should give you a clear indication of what you’re expected to accomplish in this position. Companies often use convoluted or unclear buzzwords in this section in an attempt to weed out unqualified candidates, but you shouldn’t let that discourage you from applying anyway. If you come across a few minor unfamiliar terms in a job application or posting, it’s perfectly acceptable to do a little additional research. However, if none of what you’re reading makes any sense to you at all, then it’s time to move on to the next application.

Company Profile

The company profile provides an informative and detailed description of what the company does, how they operate, how long they’ve been in business, what their objectives are, and what they hope to achieve with their future endeavours. Typically, this section is carefully crafted and serves to attract specific types of job seekers and pique their interest. It also allows individuals to establish whether their professional values and objectives are in alignment with those of the company.

Application Details and Instructions

Always adhere to special application instructions that are stipulated by the employer at the bottom of the job posting. First of all, it shows them that you have excellent reading comprehension skills and can follow simple instructions. Secondly, since most employers now have certain algorithms in place to help them filter applications more easily, this ensures that your resumé won’t slip through the cracks and that it’ll actually be reviewed by a manager or recruiter.

Decoding Common Job Ad Jargon

These are some of the most common key terms or buzzwords that you’re most likely to encounter throughout your job search, so it’s imperative that you familiarize yourself with their meanings:

  • Team Player:

    This is a fairly standard personality trait that most employers look for in their employees. While it’s important that you’re able to work efficiently independently, you should also be able to work well and collaborate on group projects with your coworkers.

  • Strong Communication Skills:

    You should be able to accurately and efficiently communicate your objectives and resolve issues in a professional manner by employing exemplary verbal and written communication.

  • Results-Oriented:

    This term indicates that you not only completely understand the needs and objectives of the company you work for, but that you strive to meet and exceed those goals each and every single day.

  • Passionate, Dynamic, Self-Motivated:

    Employers are looking for someone who not only loves what they do but is versatile and dedicated enough to take on additional tasks whenever necessary. It also means that once training is complete, you’re self-sufficient enough to be able to efficiently manage your time and always produce high-quality work.

  • Proven Track Record:

    This basically means that you have demonstrated a quantifiable and measurable level of success in your field through past work opportunities and experiences.

  • Competitive Salary:

    All this means is that the employers offer a salary or wage that’s comparable to the set industry standard or to their competitors’.

How Resolve Recruit Inc. Can Help Enhance Your Job Search

Resolve Recruit Inc. is dedicated to helping highly skilled and determined job seekers find appropriate employment opportunities that match with their specific skillsets and levels of experience in their particular fields. We’ve helped countless skilled candidates find employment in Toronto and the GTA. To learn more about our comprehensive recruitment services and how we can connect you to the right employer, please contact us.