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Don’t be Fooled by the Job Description

Don’t be Fooled by the Job Description

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As an executive job coach, an important part of my job is training my clients how to prepare for interviews. During this training, I am often handed the job description relevant to the interview. Most often I caution my clients to take that job description with a grain of salt. I have learned through the years working for major companies that “the bigger the company the bigger the mess.” I, of course, say this with sarcasm, but there is a lot of truth in this.

Typically, job descriptions are documents that Human Resources are required to have on file for reference purposes. They have no practical use except during the hiring process or during the yearly employee evaluation should there be a dispute. Once a position needs to be filled the job description becomes the focal point for recruiting. However, very often, these documents have not been adequately updated and made pertinent to the opening. At times they are outright misleading!

Evidence to this was when I interviewed with Honeywell. Truthfully, I was very reluctant to apply for the position advertised in The New York Times. It was two titles below my level, but it was a 15-minute drive from my house. Since I was so upset with my employer at that time, I was very motivated to make a change. Evidently, my resume was so impressive that I was called in for an interview. Only, during that interview, I find out that they are looking for someone with my background and accomplishments and not what they advertised for. I ended up spending the best fifteen years of my career with Honeywell.


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