Job Descriptions

I must admit, when I applied for my last job, I knew nothing about the organization or the type of work that I was going to perform for several years, so the job description played almost no part in why I applied for the position. I just knew I would be doing something very different from anything I had done before—and the recruiter told me that I was a great fit for the job. At the time, it was also hard to research the job because of the tight security involving large-scale assessments. Additionally, only two organizations were part of a massive contract overseen by a gigantic consortium of states. The two organizations kept a “tight lid” on all their “proprietary” knowledge, skills, and abilities concerning the actual job I would be doing. It is a bit embarrassing now; I just blindly jumped into a job without any solid information about the job or the organization’s expectations of the position.

The actual job description included some the following language: Review of items for large-scale assessments; evaluation of passages for use in large-scale assessments; interpretation of blueprints, and the construction of operational and field tests across multiple contracts. I did not even know what most the description meant in context to my experience, training, and education. As I learned the job, I found that a small part of what the job description outlined was a small part of what I did on a daily basis. The job description was about a 20% match to the work I performed.

I do not think the organization completed a job analysis as outlined in this week’s mini lectures. Not only was the job description vague, the details of what the job entailed seemed to change constantly as the contract grew, so we were always in a state or “training up.” This was not an enjoyable job, but I was promoted to a new position in the organization very quickly.

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2 replies on “Job Descriptions”

Hi Karen!
I really enjoyed your story and how you explained that the job description didn’t really have an impact in your last job. I think that this is great because while they often times are important, they don’t always determine applicants. Often times, other things such as recruiters like you mentioned really alter the on boarding experience that different members coming into the companies. What you spoke about later saying that they didn’t really have a job analysis is great that you can recognize that. I think you did great work on your post and you had some very real insight.

Hi Karen,
Your experience speaks a lot about the issue related to the job description. Many small organisations don’t really put much effort on the job description. All they see is the basic skills and abilities in a candidate and would think that the candidate is best fit for the job while they have no idea what the tasks are and if that candidate is going to be suitable for it or not. Point where you mention that only 20% of the job tasks mentioned in job description were in alignment to the work or the task that you did is what I completely agree with because I have noticed this too that the job description is only a small part of the whole list of a task that needs to be performed and I agree when I was looking for job in the start of my career I would agree to it without even looking at the job description properly.

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