Discovering People


    Issue #29

    What does the Advertisement really mean?

    Interpreting Advertisements

    What is the company really looking for?

    When scouring the employment section of your local paper or investigating employment opportunities on the Internet for that ideal role it is essential that you completely understand the advertisements you are reading. This will ensure that you are applying for suitable positions in which you are genuinely interested, hence saving you time and unnecessary application rejection. The following information is the essential job criteria included in a typical employment advertisement:

    Position Title: The official title of the position for which you are applying. It is often abbreviated to fit the format of the newspaper or advertising media. For example, Administration Manager may be abbreviated to Admin. Mngr and Accounts Receivable to AR etc.

    Salary: A salary of forty thousand dollars could be written as $40K+, this would indicate a salary of $40,000 + superannuation per annum based on a Full Time basis, unless otherwise stated. $35K neg. – indicates the company is prepared to negotiate up or down depending on applicant’s skills and experience.

    Superannuation: calculated at 9% of gross salary, not calculated on overtime or penalty rates.

    Package: The advertisement may stipulate a $40K package or pkg. The term package refers to the gross wage, superannuation and any additional benefits, such as a company vehicle.

    Pro Rata: Part Time, Contract or Casual employment advertisements may indicate a pro rata salary. This is the salary based on the full time, i.e. 38 hours per week wage, the actual wage can be determined by dividing the annual salary by 52 to get the weekly salary and then by 38 to get an hourly rate and multiply by the number of hours to be worked per week. (Be aware that not all companies work on a 38hr week e.g. 40hrs, 37.5hrs)

    For Example: To calculate the salary of a Part Time position of 20 hours per week paying $40,000 Pro Rata.

    Gross Weekly Salary: $ 40,000 / 52 weeks = $ 769.23

    Hourly Rate: $ 769.23 / 38 hours = $ 20.24

    Weekly Part Time Gross Wage: $ 20.24 x 20 hours = $ 404.86

    Annual Part Time Gross Salary: $ 21,052.63 per annum

    Once you have considered, and affirmed, all of the particulars of the role including: position, salary, and location, the next step is to breakdown and analyse the body of the advertisement. This is essential in gaining a better understanding of; company details, the duties and responsibilities of the role, and the personal skills and attributes required to fulfill the position.

    Most advertisements will begin with a brief overview of the company and position. The description of the company may give you clues as to its size and make up. For example the words "blue chip" could mean it is a recognised company in its growth and maturity stage. Or "dynamic and capitalise(s) on market opportunity" suggests there is plenty of room for expansion, and that the culture of the company is not too conservative. At this stage you need to consider the type of company you would be most suited to work within, taking into account your personal preference, as well as background, skills, and experience.

    The advertisement will state any essential or desirable criteria, such as a tertiary qualification, or experience with a particular computer program. Do you have these necessary skills? If not, can they be learned or attained within an acceptable time frame? The advertisement will also list personal attributes, which they would like applicants to possess. For example, are you pro-active, self-motivated, with excellent attention to detail and corporately presented? When considering these personal attributes be realistic, if these are not qualities that you possess or can learn, then are you really suited to the position?

    If you have read and comprehended the entire advertisement, and you are satisfied you fit all of the job criteria; the next logical step is to apply for the position. Respond in a timely manner but do not rush your cover letter, ensure you address all of the selection criteria and tailor your resume to fit the position. Finally, ensure your application "stands out from the crowd", remembering that employers, and recruitment consultants, receive a huge volume of response for each position, be creative!

    For tips on compiling resumes and writing cover letters please refer to previous issues of our Discovering People Newsletter on our website:

    Source: Morgan & Banks – "Getting That Job"

    Always remember your consultant can be a great source of information and is here to help you achieve your job seeking goals. Therefore feel free to contact us at anytime with any of your questions. (02) 9570 2411