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Millennials: Don’t Let Job Descriptions Discourage You

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Have you ever found yourself reading a job description and asking who in the world is capable of honing so many skills? With the rise of technology and demand for well-rounded employees, Millennials often feel discouraged just by reading job descriptions. According to the Harvard Business Review, nearly 50 percent of men and women choose not to apply to certain jobs because they feel they do not fulfill all the qualifications.

Entry-level applicants face the worst of these unrealistic qualifications. Many job postings listed as “entry-level” require applicants to have a couple years of experience in addition to their college degrees. Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of the label?

Quartz debunks the usual perception of job postings. Companies often list many skills that would earn applicants brownie points in interviews. In addition to listing the things they need, hiring managers list skills they could use in the future or assets they are considering implementing. But once hiring managers start listing those bonuses, they often get carried away and the list grows longer and longer. When applicants see a long list of skills labeled “required,” they often feel discouraged and move on to the next application.

Fear not applicants! Hiring managers are looking for humans, not robots. If you have the core skills for your profession and you are capable of presenting those skills properly, you’re golden. Companies would rather hire people who have several relevant skills, confidence, and a good attitude. So unless you’re a robot who can learn HTML code in 24 hours or become fluent in a language overnight, don’t sweat the small stuff.

When reading job descriptions, it can be truly difficult to pick apart what is required and what is fluff. Scott Purcell, a technology recruiter, gave Quartz a few tips for deciphering job descriptions.

…a good rule of thumb is that the further you get from the core of the job’s actual function, the further down a list of skills something is, and the newer the technology or the skills term is, the more likely it’s what he calls a “nice to have” rather than a true requirement.

Keep in mind, companies still like to check off as many boxes as possible when it comes to applicants’ skill sets. When Jimmy and Johnny are competing for the same position and Jimmy racks up more checks, he’s got the position over Johnny.

Yes, job descriptions can be intimidating.  Rejection can be scary, even embarrassing, but what’s the harm in trying? So, when you are considering a job description but you’re not sure if you’re really the right fit because you don’t meet every single qualification, chill. If you can, reach out to someone who works in the industry or at the company and ask how realistic the description is. Find out more information and if it’s a position you’re really interested in then it just might be worth the time and effort to apply. Don’t let job descriptions intimidate or discourage you. Take the chance and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Natasha Paulmeno
Natasha Paulmeno is an aspiring PR professional studying at the University of Maryland. She is learning to speak Spanish fluently through travel, music, and school. In her spare time she enjoys Bachata music, playing with her dog, and exploring social media trends. Contact Natasha at



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