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Cover image for How Job Posts Tell You More Than You May Think

How Job Posts Tell You More Than You May Think

missamarakay profile image Amara Graham ・2 min read

I'm one of those obnoxious people that will answer questions with questions.

Them: "How do I make this work?"
Me: "What have you tried?"

Them: "How do I learn about AI?"
Me: "What is your learning style?"

Them: "How do I get a job at my dream company?"
Me: "Have you taken a look at their open requisitions?"

Now if you were with me until that last set and got confused, let me explain.

Companies tell their secrets in who they are hiring with what skills.

If this is surprising to you, it was to me too at one point. Now its easily one of the best tools I have in my soothsaying toolbox.

Job posts may:

  • Describe the exact skills you need, plus more bonus skills, for said job
  • Give you an overview as to what the company is looking to do
  • Inspire you to write better job posts yourself
  • Show you that you need a new job

But have you thought about how job posts also tell you:

  • Who is using your product, maybe even how
  • Who is evaluating your product
  • Who your competitors are
  • Who your developer community may look like

Hold on, am I suggesting you get on job searching engines and destroy your personal algorithm by searching for roles that may apply to the product, language, or framework you are working on?

YES.

Is LinkedIn going to send you recommendations that may not make a ton of sense to your personal career path?

YES.

Are you going to be able to build a persona that may be less influenced by your existing internal ideas?

I mean probably. Depends how easily you are swayed.

My point is, if you have questions that range from competitive analysis to "is Cobol really worth learning anymore?", I highly recommend sitting down with LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, and other job search engines and looking around. This is incredibly powerful data that can help you understand what skill gaps companies have today, where your product or language sits among its competitors, and how some roles were rebranded (looking at you data scientist).

I'm in the process of building out some developer personas to guide discussions I'm having internally about our devrel strategy. I've included data from open job posts, questions and profiles I've seen on forums, and how competitors have made their products available. Let me know if you want a post about it. Happy to share my steps to help others!

Have you used job postings for something other than job seeking activities?

Posted on by:

missamarakay profile

Amara Graham

@missamarakay

DevRel at Wowza Media Systems. Tag Mod for #UX, #gamedev, #IBMWatson, #unity3d.

Discussion

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Totally agree: find a job posting for the perfect job you want, and then reverse engineer it. Find a way to demonstrate expertise (it's critical that you can show your expertise) in all of the skills they list - and you'll at least get an interview!

 

I'm curious, did someone teach you this or did you hear about it somewhere? I did volunteer college recruiting for my first employer and after looking at tons of job reqs I realized, why wouldn't you reverse engineer a job req if that's the job you wanted!

 

That's exactly how I learned it for myself as well: it was only after I started interviewing people that I realized you could use the job req to figure out exactly what you should be doing to work towards that job. Funny how you only realize stuff after you need it :)

Hundreds of job reqs and resumes later you have an "ah ha!" moment you never forget!

 

Yes, I have been using job postings for other aspects for example skills relevance and guide with reference to market needs/demands,company prolifing, etc. besides career seeking.

 

Awesome! Are you teaching others to do it too?

 

Wow, I hadn't thought of using job descriptions to tell me where to focus my learning. Thanks for suggesting this.

And yes, I would like to reach more posts on this subject.

 

It's a great checklist as long as you remember you don't have to meet every bit of the description or requirements to apply!