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What to look for in job advert before applying for it.

Many candidates and job applicants are qualified differently thus it becomes very hard for human resource experts to select those to call in for an interview. But just think for a minute, where should they start from in doing their short listing? Obviously at the irrelevant applicants, come to those relevant but not qualified, the overqualified and then list those to call in. At this point what your CV portrays is very important and thus try to match your CV with the job applied for. Be very careful when deciding to apply for a job, look at the following features:
1.   Background/ General Description of the organization:  This is a very important part of a job advert. It helps you to understand the kind of organization you are applying to. People have different tastes of companies in which they want to work and thus the background information gives insight to the kind of industry the company operates in, the general activities of the company and where it should be classified. In this section you need to ask yourself a few questions before you apply to that organization because this is where the information is. There are people who hold different opinion about some organizations and thus will not apply a job to those places. If it is a project or an NGO then you will know from this.
Job Summary: In this section we find what are the details of the job, what the incumbent does from day to day in the office, what it will entail to hold such an office and presents an understanding into the office bearer. At this stage you should look at your personal strengths and see if you are able to perform what it takes to be in the office. Match your general skills with the job summary before you even go to the requirements. Some job performance goals may be a tall order but you can apply with the intention of improving your skills to fit into that job.
3.   Key Functions and activities: This is not a broad area because all it does is to define further the attributes of the job. Here you will see who you will be reporting to or which group you will be working with. Basically it defines the environment where you will be operating in. AN example of a functional description of a job is:
• In liaison with Programme Officer, Research, Planning and Policy, collect, analyze and disseminate information and data about children to relevant organizations for use in sector planning and implementation of programmes and projects and other activities.
• Monitor, assess and evaluate performance of activities and other initiatives undertaken by agencies to define opportunities, impact and adherence to objectives and goals of the Council.

4.   Qualifications: This as you can guess is the educational and non-educational skills that you may possess. The question comes that must you have all the educational qualification before you apply for a job and the answer is NO. You can have a few qualifications and provided you feel that you can perform the job, then you can apply and hope to explain yourself in front of the interviewing panel. The non-educational skills are very important and even when in an interview portray yourself as someone who can do more than the technical skills required for the job. Not many jobs require nerds or geeks in the offices, you must be outgoing, pay attention to detail, a natural leader, be a team player and other virtues that are not taught in classes.
5.   Experience: This is the killer and a discouraging element in a job advert. Most job seekers go to the newspapers to look for jobs and they are always concerned about the years of experience that are highlighted. It is easy to get discouraged by this fact but don’t be. When a job requires 5 years of experience and you have 3, please apply if you want to. If a job requires specific experience and you feel that yours is irrelevant then try to portray relevant responsibilities that may be used in performing your current job applied for. People tend to run away when they see experience mentioned and they think they don’t have any, we advise that here you list your internship experience, other leadership roles that may have exposed you to some good experience and any other thing you feel relevant but be careful to be brief.
6.   Contact address and deadline: I can’t explain how important it is to get this straight, check and recheck the email address you are sending your CV to or the physical address on the envelope. Don’t send a CV to Safaricom in the cover letter and outside you have done a mistake and addressed it to Airtel. Also be careful with the deadline so that you can apply early enough. Normally the first excuse to be kicked out of the selection list is the application date.
Most people fear applying for jobs for various reasons but today I can tell you that the cost of not applying is more than that of applying and failing. The world is moving very fast and thus most job adverts are going online, all you need is access to net and an email address. Make sure you have a CV and copies of cover letters somewhere in your email saved, they help. Apply for at least 3 jobs per day, I promise you a job the soonest possible.

Please apply for a job despite falling short of a qualification.

All the best in your job search.

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