JOB SEARCH / AUG. 29, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Reports Show Job Requirements are a Just a Wish List

After the job title, it is job requirements that most people look at on any job add. That quick sneak peak can either lead to additional excitement, or anger and frustration. But what job seekers worldwide don’t realise is that those requirements are merely a wish list. Although they are in the advert, in the actual workplace they are just a myth and are not a requirement. It is important that jobseekers learn this and fast.

What Exactly Are Job Requirements?

There is a stark difference between what job requirements are versus how they are perceived by the general public. For the most part they are viewed as a scary list of skills that they do not have or an amount of job experience that they will be unable to satisfy. This is especially true for entry level positions. In fact, according to Business Insider, entry level is almost a redundant term now as it is more about pay than actual experience. How an entry level job can require 2-5 years of experience is questionable, but now very common. Sadly many new graduates have to use internships and similar work in order to gain the work experience needed in order to even secure a low paid first job in an industry. 

The idea of someone being required to know every programming language on the list, all of the frameworks, and various other requirements for an entry level programming job is highly unlikely. The requirements are a wish list from employers. Even the level of experience is a wish list in most cases. Of course they want applicants to have a few key skills that are vital to the business and you should be able to identify that. For example if you were applying for a PPC job then Google Adwords would be a core skill. In the requirements section what they are doing is creating a perfect applicant. So if you do not have all of the requirements then it is fine to apply for the job. Whether or not someone gets hired is still very much decided at a human level during the interview.

Scott Purcell, a Silicon Valley-based technology recruiter at Jobspring Partners, said,

“If you were to ask most hiring managers if they care about somebody that has every skill listed, versus somebody that has four or five [relevant skills] with a good attitude and a good work history, they’re all going to say they care about the type of person, not some brand new technology skill,”    

How Job Requirements are Perceived by Men and Women

A commonly quoted HP survey found that women only apply for jobs when are absolutely 100% confident whereas men will apply when they are 60% confident is to the test when referring to requirements. A recent article by the Harvard Business Review has shown that while this statistic is not completely representative of the situation. Findings of the Harvard business review were that only 46.4% of men did not want to waste hiring managers time applying for a job due to being under qualified compared to 40.6% of women. However, only 12.7% of men would not apply for a job they felt they were under qualified for due to fear of failure compared to 21.6% of women. There is clear evidence of a difference in how job requirements are perceived by men and women. But, no matter the difference it is important that both men and women apply for more jobs even if the requirements scare them.

The overall important issue is job requirements are perceived as what they truly are, as a wish list. They are a myth and do not exist in the actual work environment. It is unfortunate that work experience has become hard to come by and is a requirement even for many entry level jobs, leaving jobseekers in a catch 22 situation. But it is important to remember that you can even negotiate on experience. Don’t let job requirements stop you from applying from that job.


Image: rockcitylink

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