Job hunting can be the absolute worst. Hell, I should know, as I spent a good portion of this past year doing it until I realized, F it, I’m just going to gamble on myself instead. Unfortunately, though, something has to pay the bills, so going through every single jobs site is pretty par for the course for most people.
But remember this, just because you’re job hunting doesn’t mean you don’t have leverage. In fact, you hold all the leverage, because, even if you get an offer from a company, you still have to make sure it’s right for you. Again, getting a paycheck is great — and, sometimes, you’ve got to take something for that reason alone — but you shouldn’t just take any ol’ job that’s presented to you.
For that reason, I’m giving you a few red flags to look for when reading job descriptions, which should help you determine if the role, the company and the culture is the right fit for you. Thanks to Glassdoor, who spoke with some experts, for bringing some of these to my attention, because they’re solid job hunting tips to know about.
1. Vague Descriptions
Wherever you’re at in your career, you should have some idea with what your next job should entail. From managing other people to more responsibilities like face-to-face communication with clients, you have a good idea for what you’re looking for. That’s why, when a job listing lacks enough details in its description, it should be a red flag that you want to stay away from applying. Here’s what Daniel Shoch, recruiter at RippleMatch, told Glassdoor.
“If the potential employer can’t describe what a job entails, how will they operate as a manager? A vague job description should be a major red flag for job seekers, as it suggests an unfocused employer and a job that will lack structured goals.”
When you know more than a company about how a job description should look, do yourself a favor and don’t apply.
2. One-Sided Listings
Remember what I said before about you having the leverage when job hunting? This is the perfect example. When a job description is too one-sided, meaning it’s written with only the company in mind, you may want to proceed with caution.
“If the job spec only talks about what they expect from you and nothing about what they can offer in return, this is a definite red flag for a poor company culture that won’t invest in you and your development,” says Karly May Green, HR Manager at Builtvisible. “A good job description should offer a balance of both and leave you in no doubt that this is a company in which you can grow, develop and be appreciated.”
There should be a clear-cut description of what the company is looking for and what it can give back in return to its employees.
3. A Bunch Of Requirements
Similar to a bad first date where a woman is rambling on and on about all the things she’s looking for in a partner, or ex’s, or, well, anything else that lacks a clear direction, when job hunting, you need to make sure a company isn’t just listing everything that comes to mind.
“Job descriptions with TONS of basic qualifications indicate that the employer truly has no clue what they are seeking, or what it actually takes to get the job done,” says Jennifer Tardy, founder of Jennifer Tardy Consulting, LLC.
We all know that, sometimes, less is more. So, if a job description seems too packed with stuff, it’s definitely not a good sign of solid direction in their search.
4. Any Signs Of Bad Work-Life Balance
In today’s workforce, sure, it’s important to be adaptable and have plenty of diverse skills. Problem is, when those two things are overemphasized too much in job descriptions, it could mean that there’s actually chaos in the office, more than stability.
That’s according to Kyle Elliott, founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com, who told Glassdoor this.
Must be willing to wear multiple hats” or “must be able to handle highly stressful environments.”
“[These] can be indicators that the company is short-staffed and doesn’t value work/life blend.”
Sure, you want to help the company as much as you can, but don’t feel like it’s all on you to do everything if the job title doesn’t call for it.
5. When Salary Seems Too Good To Be True
According to the Glassdoor piece, the key phrase to look for here is “earning potential.” If you see this, it may be time to run far, far away from the job you’re looking at and thinking about applying to.
“Job descriptions that state an ‘earning potential’ of a wide range (i.e., $45,000-$200,000) are jobs to STAY AWAY FROM. This almost always means that it’s commission-based, and you’d expect to make the lower end of this range, but they want to entice applicants by putting six figures as a possibility on the listing,” explains Val Streif of Pramp.
Not all commission-based jobs are sketchy, but be wary with which ones you really feel confident about. Do some homework on the company by reading employee reviews on Glassdoor.
Now that you’ve got some A+ job hunting tips, go out there and find your perfect role, fellas, because it’s all in your hands with where you end up. Best of luck.