Job hunting is a challenging process. Not only is it time-consuming, it’s also tricky to determine whether a position is for you simply from the description alone. Sometimes, you’ll need to get to the interview stage before you can find out more about the employer and the workplace culture.
That being said, a job advert can give away more than an employer realises. And more specifically, it can reveal quite a lot about whether they hold any biased views — unconscious or otherwise — on gender, education, class and other characteristics. So how can you spot the red flags in a job advert?
Be wary of a long list of desired skills and expected experience
Of course, some jobs require specific skills or more experience than others. But an unreasonably long list of requirements for a job may be a warning sign. Research shows that women are unlikely to apply for a position unless they meet 100% of the requirements — while men will apply if they meet 60%.
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“Whether you have a few months or years of experience, employers that feel it’s fitting to ask for a minimum of five years of experience with a massive portfolio on a minimum wage is an immediate red flag,” says HR expert Will Capper, co-founder of the job search engine DirectlyApply.
“Not only does this mean you would be very underpaid for the level of tasks given, you will likely also end up fulfilling the role of two, perhaps even three people’s jobs, whilst still being rewarded with a disappointing payday.”
Check the language
It can be harder to spot,