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Succeed in the workplace
Succeed in the workplace

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1.1 Picking out the details from a job advert

Many employers will supply a job description and a person specification. The job description tells you about the job and the person specification what abilities, qualities and qualifications are required. Job adverts will usually be based on these two documents and present the most important aspects of them.

The job advertisement you’ve already looked at has both these elements, so provides good practice in analysing what is expected of you.

This activity helps you to ‘spot’ useful information in an advert and to interpret what it asks of you.

Activity 1 The NHS advert: what does it tell you?

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Read back through the NHS advert. Note in the box below, what descriptions of the work you find, and then what descriptions of the person specification it contains. You don’t need to do this in your notebook, unless you would like a record of the activity.

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How easy did you find it? Some ‘reading between’ the lines was probably necessary. Look at the answer below and compare it with your own.

Description of work

  • the potential to manage physical and human resources in the pursuit of achieving the Board's Organisational Goals – though you don’t know the goals you can deduce that you would be managing either people or things required for health care.

Person specification

  • relevant degree – you need a degree but you need find out which ones are relevant. Able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing and posses good interpersonal statistical and analytical skills – these are clear skills that you would need to show you had.

Description of work

  • ‘hands-on’ management training – this implies ‘doing’ some management rather than just learning the theory.

Person specification

  • application of sound business techniques in the delivery of Health Care – it doesn’t say which techniques, but it suggests thinking of health care as a business. Supplies Management – this is a specific area of activity and expertise that could be developed.

Description of work

  • demonstrate the potential to manage physical and human resources – the key word is ‘potential’ here. You need to provide of an ability of manage people, whatever the context.

Person specification

  • the capacity and ability to make a success of the training – here you are being asked to demonstrate that you can learn and put this into practice.

The next section will provide you with nine key areas to look for in any job advert.