How to read a job advert
When searching through job adverts the most important thing is to recognize the trustworthy adverts from the untrustworthy ones. Then you won’t waste time by responding to irrelevant offers, which will take a toll on your and your nerves and possibly cost you the time and money you need to invest into “advancing your career”. Let’s take a look at what a reputable advert looks like.
WHAT AN ADVERT SHOULD LOOK LIKE
The company’s name
Knowing who you will be working for is one of the most essential pieces of information you can get from a job advert. This will enable you to find out more information about the company, simply by entering the company’s name into a web browser. You can find out what the company specialises in, how successful it is and you may also be able to find references from former employees. All this will indicate whether you would enjoy working for such an organisation.
You may also encounter adverts with the wording: “We are seeking a candidate for the position of manufacturing manager for our client in the sector of mechanical engineering.” This is an advert by a recruitment agency, which will only give you the name of their client, your potential employer, during an interview with the agency.
Job title and type of employment
Even though some job titles appear to be from another world (e.g. Facility Manager = maintenance man), specification of the job is fundamental to your orientation among adverts. Be guided by the rule - the more specific the better.
The advert should clearly indicate whether a full-time job (HPP) or a part-time job is being offered, whether this will be under a Contract to Complete a Job (DPP) or an Agreement to Perform Work (DPČ), or work requiring a trade licence (ŽL). You can filter offers depending on the type of job and choose only the ones acceptable to you, which will not place you in a disadvantageous labour-legal position.
Required education, experience and skills
To identify whether it is actually worth responding to a job offer, you need to know your potential employer’s requirements for your education and experience. Graduates don’t normally apply for a position requiring 5 years experience and are so successful in the job interview that they are immediately offered the job. Estimate your chance realistically on the basis of the requirements specified in the advert. For lower positions, so-called junior positions, employers are usually satisfied with less experience and sometimes prefer graduates, while higher positions usually require 2, 3 or 5 years experience in a similar position, as well as the relevant education. Experience is clearly preferred over education for highly specialised positions such as programmer and for sales positions, such as the position of sales agent or key account manager.
With regard to education, employers usually require a vocational certificate in a specific sector, secondary school education (SŠ) or university education (VŠ), usually also adding the required field – humanities, natural science, technical, etc. Some positions do not require a specific education and replace requirements with experience and titles with a description of skills and qualities, which the job applicant should meet. This frequently includes a driver’s licence (ŘP), medical certificate for workers in the food industry, foreign language skills or simply seek a candidate “who is capable of independently handling problems and copes with stressful situations.”
Job start date and benefits
Serious adverts should offer something as well as specifying their requirements. We are talking about employee benefits, such as above-standard holiday leave, contributions towards meals or a company car, which is also available for personal use. Even during periods when the unemployment rate is high, it is pleasant when an advert gives the impression that the company takes care of its employees and that a lower salary is balanced by other advantages.
The advert should also include the estimated date you would start the job. This may not be as specific as 21 May 2015, but should give a month or quarter for your orientation (spring 2015, etc.).
Employer’s contact information
The advert should end by giving the employer’s contact information – a link to the company’s website and e-mail address or telephone number specifying who you will reach (director, department manager, personnel officer). You can then modify your motivational letter and address it to the person who will be reading it.