One of the best ways to learn about what a company – or any organization – is actually like in reality (peeling below the surface) is by reading the job ads that the company publishes. Why?
Job ads aren’t intended for marketing, but instead to help staff and resource real business needs. So they need, by definition, to reveal something closer to the reality of the company than the “spin” you read when they talk about themselves in marketing-speak.
Take this hypothetical parody example, that has no connection to UV. Imagine you are considering hiring a marketing firm that says they are the best marketing firm in the world with the best marketing talent anywhere. Okay, I’d read that and think “Maybe that’s right, I don’t know them, or maybe they are that awesome.” But then, imagine I go to their website and click on the “HR” section and, in case #1 I see this post: “Seeking 5 digital marketers based in [far away country where English is barely spoken and the relevant talent pool is rather shallow], paying a salary of $0.01/hour.”
Now compare this to the same post: “Seeking Marketer with experience growing companies to over $100m. Good salary and benefits. Location: flexible, but San Francisco preferred.” Do you see how that second company is probably looking for a different type of employee than the first? And of course, the sword is double-edged, cutting both ways: this also means that the second company is going to charge you much, much, more than the first company will.
Now this applies not only to the high-level jobs and the details here, but in the job ad itself. Does the job sound like any other job out there? Hint: if it does sound like any other job then, well, it probably is just like any other job! If the company advertises a particular corporate culture, does the job ad epitomize that culture?
This is so important a point that we’ve even written previous articles about this very same topic, highlighting other job posts of ours. But another day, and another job search! Today, we’re looking to hire someone for an interesting position – and the job post we wrote for it was so much fun, we decided to share it with y’all here. Read it, and then read between the lines to learn about what kind of a company UV is.
This isn’t your normal job ad – and this isn’t your normal job.
Throw out the window all the requirements like, “You must have a university degree with at least a GPA of 3.921” – who cares! We don’t!
Here is what we do care about:
1.) Do you enjoy design?
(I want to explain that: you don’t need to be great at it. You just need to love it, and want to improve.)
2.) Do you know the super-basic minimums of using Photoshop?
(I want to explain that: you don’t need to be a wizard. Although after a few years with us, you will be… I hope. But you do need to be able to sit down and create an image – even if it sucks. I know this is a junior position so we don’t expect magical images. At least we don’t at first.)
3.) Do you love learning and are you a fast learner – and can learn on your own?
(I want to explain that: this is a junior position and you’ll learn. We’ll give you time and space to learn. We’ll train you and push you in the right direction. But, as they say, you can lead a penguin to water but you can’t make it dive in. You have to be able to seize this opportunity to learn. Example: we create landing pages on Unbounce. Never used Unbounce? That’s fine. Now, go, figure it out, play with it, and come back and show us some samples when you have done so!)
4.) You have to enjoy the creative process beyond just the visual side.
(I want to explain that: it’s not merely design you’ll do. You’ll help us come up with concepts for landing pages, and then design them. You’ll help us come up with ideas for pop-ups – and design them.)
5.) You speak English reasonably enough to be able to work in English.
(I want to explain that: we’re an American company with a large office in Buenos Aires, although everyone’s working from home these days – and even before that, everyone worked from home 3 days per week anyway. So while most of the people in the company are native Spanish speakers, our team is led by an English speaker and our clients are mostly American, and English is the language of our work. You don’t need to be great at English, just “good enough” to work in it. And if we stay together for the long term, you’ll get great at it.)
6.) You have to want to improve your communication skills.
(I want to explain that: it doesn’t matter if you’re already a good communicator; you can be, should be, and need to be much better at communication. We’ll make you explain your ideas, write documents about your ideas, and turn your ideas into defensible arguments to convince the team. You’ll learn how to criticize (hint: don’t be personal, and give all the benefit of the doubt) and all the little skills of serious professional communication.
7.) You have to, above all else, no matter what, prioritize virtue and ethics.
(I want to explain that: your possible future boss, who is writing this ad, long ago made a rule: he just won’t work with anyone who is a @^$#&*(^$. In other words, people who aren’t good people. Although “good” may be aiming too high, since living up to the highest standards of integrity – especially when life puts you in the middle of complex situations – is hard. So perhaps a more realistic standard is: just don’t be not-good.)
If you hit all 7 of those, please reach out and let’s talk. But you’re probably wondering: why would you want to work with us? Ah! Great question! I’m glad you asked! Here are a few reasons:
1.) You’ll learn a lot… if you’re eager to take the initiative.
2.) You’ll start out doing only internal work but then also work with some of our clients – so you’ll get a wide exposure to many types of projects and people.
3.) You’ll learn not just “about” design, but you’ll learn “how” to work. Your communication skills, your professionality, and so forth.
4.) You won’t be a robot just implementing designs we assign you. Well, a bit at first. But you’ll participate in every part of the creative process, and you can have ideas and lead them as well.
5.) Your day-to-day work will involve helping create landing pages, ads, redesign pages on our site, design pop-ups for our site – a lot of marketing-related design work. And, after a few months, similar sort of work for clients, with the client work focusing more on page and site design.
6.) In addition to Photoshop (or the image creation tool of your choice), you’ll learn and work with the following – and if you already know some of these, all the better:
- Content management (WordPress content changes);
- Landing page creation tools (design mockups and/or use online tools such as Unbounce);
- Social media knowledge (original pieces and posting tools);
- Mailchimp management (or at least knowledge of how to design internal emails and communications);
- Presentations (to be handled via Google Slides).
What do we actually do, day to day? Yeah, that’s a minor technicality. If you think you may be a good fit based on the above, let’s talk and discuss it. Oh, and make sure you have a portfolio or examples of your work to show us – and we don’t care if it’s terrible; we just want to see you trying, because if you want to turn from a frog into a prince/ss, we can help.
In conclusion: even though this article was meant to be about how you can judge companies by their job ads, the article serves a dual-purpose as another variation of our job ad! So if you think you might be a great fit for this job, just drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.