Using Online Job Listings: Job Requirements and Desired Qualifications

Talk about it
What kinds of skills and abilities do employers want job candidates to have when they apply for a job?

Read about it
Job Requirements

In most job listings, employers include some information about the qualifications you need for the job. If the listing is organized by headings, you can look under the following words.
  • Qualifications
  • Minimum Qualifications
  • Knowledge, Ability and Skills
  • Experience
  • Responsibilities
However, many listings are not organized by headings. In this case, you need to scan all parts of a listing for information about the job requirements. The following words and phrases can help you find the requirements.

  • must . . .
  • able to . . .
  • ability to . . .
  • need . . . l
  • knowledge of
  • requires knowledge of . . .
  • minimum of . . .
  • . . . experience . . .
  • . . . skills . . .
  • . . . required
  • . . . necessary
  • . . . needed
  • . . . is essential
  • We’re looking for
  • Can you . . .?
  • Are you . . . ?
  • If you are / have . . .
  • You will need . . .
Why do you need to read this information carefully? Because you should meet the minimum requirements to apply for the job. For example, if the employer is looking for a driver with a California driver’s license and you don’t have one yet, this is not the best choice of jobs to apply for. If you have most of the qualifications for a job, you can still apply for it. But employers prefer to hire job candidates who have all of the qualifications.

Look at the job listing below for a phlebotomist. The job requirements are highlighted.

US-CA-San Francisco

Certified Phlebotomists looking for outpatient experience in a fast-paced environment apply here!

Qualified candidates must be California State Certified.
Do you have a minimum of two years of healthcare (preferably direct phlebotomy) experience in blood collection from patients of all age groups? Can you perform urine drug screen collections & difficult draws? Do you have a comprehensive knowledge of safety? Are you able to effectively communicate? Do you have customer service, computer and data entry experience?

Monday-Friday, day shift; Overtime and rotation Saturday may be required.
Job Title:

Lab Services

San Francisco

Status: Full Time

Job Category: Phlebotomy and
Patient Services

Desired Qualifications

Employers can also include information about desired qualifications in job listings. These are abilities they would like you to have, but that are not necessary. It’s something extra or something special that you can offer to the job. For example, a job listing might include a second language is desirable. This means that the employer would like to hire someone who can speak another language, but they might hire a person who only speaks one language.

The following words and phrases can help you find the desired qualifications.
  • . . . preferred
  • . . . desired / is desirable
  • . . . helpful
  • . . . a plus

Look at the job listing below. The job requirements are highlighted in blue and the preferred qualifications are highlighted in pink.

Pharmacy Clerk: Kaiser Permanente
Job ID:
Company Name:
Job Category:
Date Posted:
SS 0068493
Kaiser Permanente
South San Francisco, CA
1-2 Years Experience
July 20, 2007

Department: Outpatient Pharmacy

Schedule: On Call; Sunday through Saturday variable shifts to include days, evenings and weekends.

Education: High School Diploma/GED

Position Summary: Under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, provides in-person and telephone reception, receives and directs new and refill prescriptions for further processing, produces computerized or typed prescription labels, packages, and sells filled prescriptions and pharmaceutical merchandise, assists pharmacy personnel with clerical functions.

Qualifications: Effective customer service and telephone reception skills are essential.

Effective written and verbal communication skills necessary.

Need good clerical ability and mathematical skills (add, subtract, multiply, divide).

Requires the ability to stand for long periods of time and to read find print.

You will need to be able to lift/transport 1-50 lbs., light to moderate carrying, pulling, pushing, walking and frequent bending and reaching.

Must be willing to work in a Labor Management Partnership environment (be part of a union).

Ability to accurately operate cash register, pharmacy computer systems and other equipment preferred.

Ability to read, understand and transcribe pharmaceutical information from prescription forms.

Apply for Job


Activity A

Read each pair of phrases. Are the meanings the same or different? Then discuss why they are the same or different with a partner.

a. Must be able to work nights and weekends
b. Availability on nights and weekends necessary
          a. same           b. different
answer: same

  1. a. Must have Microsoft Office skills
    b. Computer proficiency (MS Office) is necessary
              a. same           b. different

  2. a. Valid CA DL and clean driving record required
    b. Acceptable DMV printout and valid drivers license needed
              a. same           b. different

  3. a. HS Diploma or equivalent a must
    b. High School Diploma or GED preferred
              a. same           b. different

  4. a. Minimum one year training or experience is desirable
    b. At least 1 yr experience necessary
              a. same           b. different

  5. a. Must have excellent communication skills
    b. Need to be able to understand and follow instructions
              a. same           b. different

  6. a. Required to be at least 18 years of age
    b. Must be 18 or older
              a. same           b. different

  7. a. Knowledge of proper sanitation is essential
    b. Ability to ensure a clean, safe environment required
              a. same           b. different

  8. a. Are you willing to learn?
    b. Can you follow company policies and procedures?
              a. same           b. different

  9. a. You should be able to work in a fast-paced environment
    b. Ability to multi-task
              a. same           b. different

  10. a. Drug screen is required
    b. Medical assessment is necessary prior to hiring
              a. same           b. different

  11. a. Problem solving skills needed
    b. Ability to solve problems preferred
              a. same           b. different

  12. a. Previous experience in retail a plus
    b. Minimum 3 years experience in sales with a must
              a. same           b. different

  13. a. Must be able to work a flexible schedule
    b. Required to work some evenings and weekends
              a. same           b. different

  14. a. Knowledge of various office machines necessary
    b. Able to maintain files and records
              a. same           b. different

  15. a. Math skills essential
    b. Ability to perform basic mathematical functions
              a. same           b. different

  16. a. Prolonged standing, walking, and reaching necessary
    b. Bending, kneeling, and lifting up to 40 pounds required
              a. same           b. different

  17. a. Reliable auto with proof of current auto insurance essential
    b. Must have pick up or minivan and insurance
              a. same           b. different

  18. a. Technology certification is desirable
    b. Must have valid technology license
              a. same           b. different

  19. a. Must successfully pass criminal background screening
    b. Job requires drug screen
              a. same           b. different

  20. a. Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines with minimal supervision
    b. Prefer a candidate who can work independently
              a. same           b. different

answer key

Activity B
Read the job listing. Click on the job requirements.
  • When you click on the correct requirements, the phrase will become highlighted.
  • When you click on an incorrect phrase, the phrase will not become highlighted.
Driver / Guard (Richmond)

Reply to: job-987654321
Date 2007-07-12, 4:59 PDT

$750.00 Sign-on Bonus!

If you’re looking for a career with a growing company, we invite you to apply with ArmedCars, a national leader in the Armored Car, ATM, Cash Services and Risk Management Industry.

Our teammates are the best in their field because we are known for “Hiring The Best.” Eligible applicants must pass a pre-employment background check (Criminal & Credit). In addition, you must pass pre-employment testing (Drug, Physical-50 lbs. min lifting). High School Diploma or equivalent required. Proof of steady employment history is essential. No Felony Convictions and Clean DMV necessary. If you are looking to be part of a winning team and have a flexible schedule, please apply now.

Driver/guards (Must be 21 years of age) – In an armed environment, responsibilities include pickup and delivery of orders within designated routes. Ability to communicate verbally with team members, customers and management via telephone and two-way radio required.

answer key

Activity C
Read the job listing. Copy and paste the job requirements and the preferred qualifications in the correct box of the chart below.

Jobs Home > Job Search > CA > Emeryville > Administrative Assistant in Emeryville

Administrative Assistant

Spearhead is a staffing and recruitment agency with thousands of satisfied clients nationwide. We offer the successful candidate the opportunity to work for our clients in either full-time or temporary positions. We pride ourselves on our strong commitment to client satisfaction, and our focus on helping our employees find their next job.

Spearhead is currently working with a Fortune 500 organization to assist them in finding a high energy Administrative Assistant in Emeryville, CA!

The qualified candidate will provide administrative support for an individual or team. Responsibilities include: answering questions, troubleshooting, and following up with customers to resolve problems. You will also schedule appointments, maintain supervisor’s calendars, make travel arrangements, attend meetings and take / distribute minutes. You may perform general office tasks such as ordering standard office supplies; assembling documents; accepting and delivering inter-office correspondence; and photocopying and faxing correspondence and reports.

All administrative assistants need at least 2 years administrative experience, but 4-5 years exp. desired; ability to operate office machines or equipment such as PCs, printers, Microsoft Office, fax machine, etc.; expert knowledge of Microsoft Outlook required; experience with MS Word and Power Point a plus; must show good judgment and initiative; strong organizational skills required; excellent verbal and written communication skills required; High school diploma required, but Associates degree preferred.
  • This is a three (3) month contract opportunity
  • Hours for this position are Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm
To Apply:

If you feel you have the right qualifications, please email me a Word copy of your resume directly to INCLUDE JOB TITLE AND LOCATION IN THE SUBJECT LINE!

Job Requirements Preferred Qualifications

answer key

Activity D: Team Project
  1. Find two classmates who have the same or a similar job goal.
  2. Each person, survey 3 or more job listings for this job. Look for the job requirements and desired qualifications the employer wants.
  3. Which words or phrases do you read more than once? Make a list of the keywords for job requirements and desired qualifications in your field.
  4. Compare your keywords with your team members. Do you have the same words and phrases. Add any new keywords to your list.
  5. Check the job requirements and desired qualifications that you have for this job.
  6. Tell your team members about the job requirements and desired qualifications you have.

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