Home > Employment > Getting to Grips with Job Descriptions – Part Two

Getting to Grips with Job Descriptions – Part Two

In part two I aim to highlight some of the most common phrases used within job descriptions. I’ll look at the main attributes employers are looking for and how we can express them in an application.


When I looked through job descriptions, from lot of different sources, there was one attribute that almost every employer was looking for in a candidate and that was enthusiasm. It is not hard to see why employers emphasise this in their descriptions. It’s is clear that a candidate that is enthusiastic about a job is going to be much more of a benefit to an employer than someone who is just simply going through the motions. One of the best ways to show enthusiasm is through displaying your pre-interview preparation. It is always good practice to research an industry and employer before applying for a job but this also goes some way towards expressing your enthusiasm. Showing an understanding of the business and how you can benefit it with your skills and knowledge is a sure sign that you have put time and effort in.

Crowd image

Other common phrases that appear in job descriptions include those mentioned in part one; interpersonal skills, self-motivation and organisational skills. When a job description outlines the desire for good interpersonal skills it applies to a number of areas. It’s a broad term for your communication skills, whether that be oral or written, and in order to show these skills off you can apply them to your University work or other employment experiences. Communication is vital within any job; from communication with colleagues or employers, to liaising with clients. Self-motivation and organisational skills can also be expressed through your experiences. Although sometimes it is easy to overlook experiences that relate to these requirements, on further examination you may find you have used these skills in the most unlikely of areas.

Giving evidence of skills you have picked up in life and understanding key phrases in job descriptions will help your application process dramatically but never forget that one of the things many employers emphasise is the opportunity to sell yourself. Be aware of elements such as the language you use when evidencing your skills. How you read your application will differ from how others, including employers, can interpret it.


You will need to compromise; an application that’s well researched and presented as well as quickly submitted.


Taking care with your application for a job is a must, however there are other parts to the process that you should keep a close eye on. For example, there are always deadlines for candidates to apply for jobs and, as was explained to me by Suzanne Ball – a Careers Adviser with the university, a good rule of thumb is always to apply as early as you can. While some smaller companies may have a window of opportunity, in which they tend to wait until all applications are received before looking at them, this is not the same for some bigger employers. Larger campaigns have a much longer time frame for candidates to apply and, rather than waiting for the closing date before screening them, they tend to do this as and when they arrive. Suzanne stated that some of the NHS employment schemes have a year-long time period to receive applications which may give the sense you can leave it until much later to apply. However if they select the required number by sifting before the end of the deadline then they will just take down the vacancy.

Frustration Image

This can be frustrating as you may be refining and fine tuning your application waiting till the last minute to apply. You will need to compromise; an application that’s well researched and presented as well as quickly submitted. Don’t worry, this process gets easier with time and talking to the other members of the Careers and Placements Service and looking at some of the application resources on CareerHub can help with this.


Appointments can be booked by current University of Hertfordshire students and graduates through CareerHub and are usually available every week day



photo credit: Gueоrgui and Lotus Carroll via photopin cc


Jonathan Brown Image

Jonathan Brown is a final year Mass Communications student at the University of Hertfordshire.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: