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How to Use a Job Description to Spot Company Culture

Torsos and hands of two people in a job interview.

Job postings are a great way to learn more about a company’s culture and management style when you have yet to learn about them. While not all ads provide a direct glimpse into the culture, there are usually clues to be found if you read between the lines. Here are three key things you can look for in a job posting that will give you an idea of the company culture there.

Look for Keywords

Instead of skimming job postings for a list of requirements, take the time to look at the words the company uses. For example, suppose you’re looking for a place that values teamwork, and one of the job ads you come across says how great it is to work at their company because they have a “tight-knit workplace,” that’s a positive sign. Or maybe you’re looking for something more stable, so you read a posting stating there is “consistent overtime.” These are easy ways to get an idea of what kind of company you’ll be working for.

Pay attention to the wording of work hours, which can also indicate a company’s culture. If a job listing mentions free meals, snacks, and drinks, it could suggest that long work hours are expected. Some people enjoy this type of environment and choose to apply for such jobs. However, if you prefer a steady “9-5” schedule and a work-life balance over long hours, look for listings that specify 8-hour workdays, five days per week. A good rule of thumb is to always read through all the requirements listed for each role and check what’s most important to you, then apply accordingly.

Pay Attention to the Structure

A job posting’s structure can provide more clues about the employer. Ads that use traditional sections—qualifications, skills, education, responsibility, and reporting structure—are likely to come from organizations with clear rules and guidelines. These companies could have more rigid career paths or a set way to climb the corporate ladder.

On the other hand, if an ad emphasizes future opportunities and values, the company will likely pay more attention to its people than to their performance metrics. For example, phrases such as “work alongside others to…” or “contribute to…” may signal that the company is more interested in developing its employees. The important thing is for job seekers to consider how the structure of a posting can tell them about an organization’s culture—and then decide whether that approach is actually what they want in a workplace.

Look Beyond the Posting

It’s easy to take a job description at face value, but there are ways to get a more accurate idea of the job and the work culture. To assess a company’s culture, you can research reviews on Glassdoor and follow them on social media.

Reading between the lines of a job ad can be tricky, especially when determining if the company’s culture is right for you. There are several ways to identify a company’s culture through a job posting by looking at the wording, the structure of the listing, and going beyond the job ad itself. These factors will give you an idea of how the company operates and, most importantly, its corporate culture.

About EG Workforce Solutions

We’ve been in this business for decades and have developed a deep network of professional connections. Whether they’re companies looking for talent, job seekers looking for work, or an up-and-coming store in need of some temporary help, we know the right people to bridge the gap between the hiring and the hired.

But what’s more, we get to know people. From employers hiring to candidates looking, we take the time to listen and learn. We hear your likes, talents, and needs. We gain an understanding, and with it, we’re able to facilitate lasting relationships between businesses and people.

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