What Do Those Job Ads Really Mean

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Published: 28 May 2017      

If you have been searching for a job for a while now, it is likely that you have come across a lot of common language in job adverts. At their core, many companies want similar sorts of personality traits in their employees, so here we are going to take a look at some of the most common job advertisement phrases and how they apply to you.

Self-Starter

Contrary to what you may think, a self-starter is not somebody who is looking to go into business for themselves. Instead, it is somebody who is able to act with a certain amount of autonomy, taking the initiative to create work for themselves that benefits the company. While very common for freelance work, many employers will also look for self-starters when creating new divisions or roles in their companies. For example, a company that has used traditional marketing in the past will look towards a self-starter when moving into online marketing, as such a person will be able to determine a good course of action without constantly looking to management for advice.

Competitive Salary

Always an awkward one, as it either shows that the employer doesn’t know how much the role is worth or is hoping to find a talented individual who undervalues themselves. If a job advertises a competitive salary, your first step should be to start doing research to find out what that actually means relevant to you. Look for similar positions online, speak to friends and connections who work in similar roles, and gather all of the information you can to ensure the salary is actually competitive for the industry.

Forward-Thinking

Can you look towards the future and anticipate what may happen should you take certain courses of action. If so, that makes you a forward-thinker. Employers look for these sort of people when filling roles that require decision making, as forward thinkers are capable of analysing their decisions and thinking about what might go wrong, as well as what might go right.

Flexible Attitude

Ideally, this would mean that the employee is willing to learn new things to become better in his or her role. Unfortunately, many employers use “flexible attitude” as a way of telling you that you may be expected to complete tasks that fall outside of your job description and that you may end up working past your contracted hours, possibly unpaid, for the benefit of the company. Be wary of this phrase and seek assurances about what your role will be and how often working over may happen should you get to an interview.

Good Track Record

This one is nice and simple. A good track record revolves around porviding demonstrable evidence that you are able to complete the main tasks specified in the job requirements. For example, certifications with different technologies show your competence in their use, while your references will also vouch for your abilities. A good track record will also ideally mean that you haven’t gotten into trouble in your previous places of work and that you are capable of maintaining your professionalism.

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