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Explainer - Understanding Job Adverts

Welcome to this blog where we break down a job ad to help you know what employers are looking for. 

Using a Grounds Maintenance Operative role as an example, we’ll unpick what employers mean when they use certain words and phrases. We’ll also talk about why having the right attitude often matters more than having certain skills.

Finally, we’ll translate what employers mean when they list specific behaviours, giving you practical tips for your next application.

What do you need to know about the different parts of this job advert?

Grounds Maintenance Operatives 

Location: Finsbury Park

Salary: £22,050

Full time: 40 Hours per week

Who Are You?

Applicants must hold a full, clean driving licence and experience of driving light commercial vehicles is desirable. 

Previous experience of grounds maintenance work, horticultural tasks and use of handheld machinery is desirable but full training will be given. 

Applicants must be reliable and conscientious, have a can-do attitude and willingness to learn with the ability to work on their own initiative. 

This job is listed as Entry Level & Mid-Level so the employer is interested in meeting people at different levels & are flexible about experience

The person specification is a summary of what the employer is looking for. It could include skills, experiences or attitudes.

ESSENTIAL & DESIRABLE specifications. In this case it means you MUST have a clean full driving license, but you don’t have to have driven as part of your job before.

This is the work specific skills, but they are DESIRABLE. This tells you the employer is more interested in someone with the right attitude & willing to learn than the experience they have.   

These are a number of behaviours the employer is looking for in their staff but what do they mean in terms of work?   

What do these commonly used words and phrases mean in job adverts?

Your employer & your colleagues can rely on you, if you are due to start work at 7.30 then they know you will be there, if you are responsible for completing a task, you will finish it.  

You want to do your work well and thoroughly, not just because you are told to 

You see work that needs doing & you do it, you don’t wait for someone to tell you

You have a positive approach to any task, you think about how you can do it, not reasons you can’t 

You are happy to grow your skills, to learn new things & develop your abilities 

Do you see a pattern? All of these behaviours are about having a positive & proactive approach to work, whether it’s about being there on time, completing your work, learning new skills or being proactive.

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