AAU Career

Decode the job ad

The key to a good, targeted CV and application is the job advertisement. So start by decoding it. This can help you understand the company and their needs. Below, we give you a concrete tool that can help you with that.

Download our guide Decode the job ad

Read and understand the job advertisement

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    4 categories that can help you understand the job posting

    Read the job posting carefully. Familiarize yourself with the company and try to understand their needs.

    You can start by trying to color-code the post based on the 4 categories:

    1. What:

    • Tasks and methods
    • Professional competencies
    • Experience and education

    2. How:

    • Personal competencies
    • Personal values
    • Motivation

    3. Who:

    • Target group    

    4. Where:

    • Company culture
    • Colleagues
    • Values
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    Find important topics in the post

    Which professional areas, tasks, personal competencies, values, etc. are prominent in the advertisement? There are usually some elements that recur. These are the ones you need to use as your starting point.

    You can use the important topics as guidelines when you write your targeted CV and application. You need to match your professional competencies with what they are looking for and it is your job to show them with your CV and application that you know this. You do this by highlighting your relevant experiences and competencies and giving examples.

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    Ask questions and find answers

    Use your personal and professional curiosity to ask relevant questions based on the job ad. When you dive into the ad this way, you will probably be in doubt about some of the things they write. What exactly do they mean? And there are probably some things you will be curious to know more about.

    Therefore, you now need to write down all your questions.

    First, try to find the answers yourself. You can, for example, google your way to some answers, or read more in-depth information on the company's website, social media or in the press.

    When you can not move on, it's time to ask others. Maybe you know someone who works in the industry or in a similar job? The contact person on the ad is the very best to answer your questions. It is in the dialogue with the company that you can really get to know what the job entails. And it is when you call them that you may gain knowledge and insight that the other applicants do not have which will make it easier for you to write the targeted application and CV.

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