Tips for new job seekers: Interpreting job ads

Either give the employer a call or send them an email about their job ad.
  • Check an industry source: Some professional websites have a glossary of terms.
  • Check other ads in the same industry: Most people write better ads, and if the qualifications or requirements are common, they'll have some information. You could contact them, too.
  • Check professional news sources: It's quite common for ads to use current slang terms which are widespread in the industry, but aren't in daily usage. News sources are usually good at finding references to them.
  • Serious problems with job ads: What to avoid

    There's another possibility with these cryptic crossword type job ads. A lot of these ads are written deliberately to avoid specific details. Many sales jobs, student jobs, online jobs and others in the casual labor market are written to produce a great image of a job, but have no real substance. Many are scams, but others are also labor exploitation and phishing scams. They can be real trouble. You need to recognize and steer clear of these 'jobs.'

    Misleading ads are actually illegal, but they're also at epidemic levels in the modern job market. (You can complain to the site running the ad, and with most job sites you will get a response. Advertisers hate these ads, and try to stamp them out wherever they find them. The ads are potential legal minefields for advertisers.)

    If you don't like the look of an ad, move on. Stick with jobs ads that are clear and are offering what you want.