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Planning a better future
Planning a better future

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4.3 Matching the requirements

Once you’ve analysed your advertisement, decide if it interests you, and then request further details, such as the job description and person specification. You need to try to match yourself to the requirements of the job to judge whether or not you want to apply for it.

The job description and person specification are usually set out under headings such as ‘Experience’, ‘Qualifications’ and ‘Personal qualities’. They should specify what the employer is looking for, so you need to consider how you can show that you meet the requirements.

Look at the example in Table 6, where the vacancy is for a fund-raiser for Scottish Wildlife Preservation Society. Here the key experience requirements are listed, and the second column shows how a candidate would provide evidence of having the necessary experience. This is a useful way of approaching any job advert, as it helps you to focus on the important aspects as you complete your application form or prepare a CV.

Table 6
Key experience requirementsMy evidence

Drew up budget bids or plans within agreed guidelines and procedures for submission to internal and external bodies.

Responsible for assessing potential expenditure in terms of value for money and taking appropriate action to ensure this is achieved.

Keyboard skills

Self-taught packages in order to produce a dissertation for my degree.

Worked in Windows-based environment for numerous holiday jobs.

Marketing knowledge

Temporary job (with full induction and training) over two summer holidays as a market research interviewer.

Marketing module completed as part of my degree studies (12 months) identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.

Ability to work on own

As a part-time student I have worked within a 32-week study calendar and managed a weekly workload of reading, assignments, tutorials and revision alongside a part-time job and voluntary work.

I have worked unsupervised as a treasurer for a local Residents Association for two years and have always met deadlines for reports.

Interest in wildlife

I have organised several meetings between the RSPB and the local branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England to look at the decline of the blue tit in Cheshire and preventive measures.

I am a regional fund-raiser for BTCV and the PDSA.

I work alternate Sundays at the local animal hospital as a volunteer.

I am an avid reader and subscriber of The Warbler, and make regular contributions to this national magazine.

Presentation skillsI have used PowerPoint to present information on the decline of local bird populations to a community group and to councillors.

Activity 7

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

Begin by looking at an advert or job description for a position that interests you. (If you don’t have a specific one in mind, you could look in a national or local newspaper, or on a website such as [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .)

Whichever way you choose, ask yourself:

  • Does the work genuinely interest me?
  • Does it match my personality, values, interests and needs?
  • What are the key job requirements?
  • What skills are required to perform them?
  • Can I produce evidence of these skills?

Using Table 6 as a guide, open the template for this activity in the resource pack and note down the key characteristics and requirements of your selected vacancy. Try to produce evidence of your suitability against each point.