Job Descriptions Are Fake – Here’s How to Apply For a Job

The hiring process is broken – and we know that.

❕72% of hiring managers believe they are giving candidates clear job descriptions

❕36% of candidates say that is what they experience

❕55% of candidates report frustration with the recruitment process

❕71% of employers have discovered misstatements in resumes

❕40% of them even found a required skill (reported in CV) was nonexistent

Stats were gathered by TEKsystems surveying 13,000 job candidates and over 1,400 employers.

I learned that 13 years ago. I was surprised to learn how tedious and complicated recruitment was. Job descriptions serve as a matrix ranking different skills and cross-referencing with candidates possessing a portion of those traits and competencies.

It’s especially frustrating. It’s even frightening for recent graduates, interns, and shy introverts who can’t stand the idea of failing an interview.

It’s a challenging matter and I’ve shared my experience in this video.

What misconceptions and oddities have you found as an applicant or a hiring manager?

How to Apply for a Job


00:00:33 – Hiring is A Complex but Open Negotiation
00:03:17 – Hiring is A Combination of A Bunch of Things
00:04:21 – Custom-Tailoring The CV
00:05:27 – A Company Doesn’t Want A Mercenary
00:06:16 – The Type of Roles That We Cannot Substitute Easily
00:07:38 – The Hiring Factors We Value
00:08:33 – Hiring Entrepreneurs as Intrapreneurs


Hey, guys. Mario Peshev here from DevriX.

So about a decade ago, probably even more, I worked for a media company. We were looking for someone else to join our team. I knew the requirements. I spoke to HR when they showed the job description they prepared. It really didn’t have a lot in common with what they were looking for. I mean, obviously, someone with those qualifications was able to work that job. But, this would have been someone who’s wildly overqualified for the job anyway.

Hiring is A Complex but Open Negotiation

So I spoke to HR and they said, “Well, why are we looking for people who are extremely hard to find and essentially those are not really the people who we’re looking for.” And HR said, “Look, the way it works is the following. People are going to apply anyway and we know that they’re not going to possess those specific skills and requirements we are looking for, but the closer they are to this list the better, and if we don’t really have that much in common, we can at least negotiate and see what we can pull off out of that deal.”

So that was the first time I understood that hiring and interviews is essentially a complex negotiation and it’s also an open negotiation. It doesn’t necessarily mean that what the job description says is going to be asked for during the interview or if you don’t really match those skills, you’re not qualified for the job.

Now, if you apply for a senior role and you have barely a year of experience in that role, I would highly suggest you not to apply, but if for example the role requires five years of some technology and three years of something else, and you have corresponding three and two years, you may actually be qualified enough if you prove yourself as such during the interview. And it also depends on the other applications coming for that specific job because we’ve had some months, submitting a job, receiving over 200 applications over the course of a month and then we have other jobs and other months where we submit a job description and we have only three or four applications over the course of a month. That’s especially common for software development jobs of course.

When a Job Offer Doesn’t Match

So when you think of it, it’s more or less a lucky, lucky game. But, if you see a job offer that’s something you did not necessarily match, well, you may still try to match those requirements accordingly. So, yeah, just keep that in mind.

So, from my experience, I’ve had … So, there is also one other thing to add here. Companies do that knowing that many people are going to apply if they’re approaching the required standards for the job. If we need someone with five years of whatever experience we’re going to ask for five to seven years of that specific experience. Other companies are directly going to ask for seven years of that experience. So, let’s talk to people who have four or five years of experience, but automatically discard those that have two years of practical experience for the job.

Custom-Tailoring The CV

So that’s kind of how the business works. And of course, if you like the company, it doesn’t hurt trying to apply there. The less conservative the company is, the easier it would be for you to get an interview if you cover at least some of those requirements.

But what would generally help you with that specific role is customer tailoring your cover and tailoring your specific application and also CV in a way that outlines the fact that you want to work for the organization. This means, don’t send a draft CV, don’t send a blank cover letter or whatever.

Just make sure that you explain the fact that you are fully aware of the job description requirements. Despite the fact that you can’t prove covering all of those, you are certain that you can manage that in a couple of months at the job. And, your experience is closely related with what the job asks for. And, you’re truly determined and committed and yada, yyadda yadda, to do it.

Hiring is A Combination of A Bunch of Things

The other thing is that again, hiring someone is a combination of a bunch of things. It’s skills, experience, salary expectations, specific requirements that person has, and some other things and culture fit, of course.

So, if you apply for a job, you compare yourself with other candidates applying for that specific job and the HR team is also going to compare all of you and try to pick the best person for the job, right? That’s why if you fail a job interview, it’s not necessarily you. Most of the time, it’s just someone else or the hiring team has other preference or something else.

So, in a nutshell, when you do that, when you apply for the job and go there with insufficient qualifications, you can add up additional things such as great culture fit, extreme commitment to the job, fully knowing how the company has evolved over time, knowing how the company works in-house and so forth.

A Company Doesn’t Want A Mercenary

So, why would that help you? Because a company doesn’t want a mercenary. They don’t want someone to hire an assassin for a specific job. What they want is someone to work with them in the long run. They want someone who’s reliable, someone who’s trustworthy, someone who would be a culture fit and someone who won’t be surprised if something happens because they haven’t done their homework upfront, not knowing what the company does for a living.

So, if you cover those points, this will definitely get you some extra perks while applying for the job. So, you may not be the perfect fit for that specific skills, but if you have a lot of other things that add up and you’re not asking for a small fortune, there’s a chance that the company’s going to find something for you in particular.

The Type of Roles That We Cannot Substitute Easily

I’m going to disclose something that I haven’t really disclosed elsewhere in the public. So, we do have specific roles that are not listed on our website. The reason for that is that those roles are not confidential, but they’re dealing with sensitive data. We are talking about business assistant. We are talking about account manager working with clients and so and so on.

So, we keep those roles for people in our network who we can validate one way or another. Most of the time, those are going to be former fellow students of ours, former colleagues from other jobs, or something else and we discuss those roles with that kind of people. So, those are the type of roles that we cannot substitute easily.

We are expected to give them a lot of personal information and delegate a lot of trust and present them in the public and so forth in order to make that work. We don’t want to go through the traditional interviewing process, but we are willing to consider other applicants for the job, even if they apply for something else or even if they just disclose that they are looking for a job.

The Hiring Factors We Value

This is something that’s happened a few times and for instance, right now I have extended a soft offer to someone I’ve been knowing for kind of a decade for one of those roles that are not listed there. This is someone who could have applied for the other job, but since we are relying on other factors, the company culture, will the culture fit?

The trust factor, the reliability, reputability, the online awareness of that specific person, or the fact that they maintain their own personal brand, they’re professional, they could be trusted. They cannot afford to lose their own personal brand for that. It’s something that can work out as well.

It’s also something that happens with entrepreneurs. So, I’ve had companies hiring business owners and hiring full-time freelancers and assigning them to strategic team leading roles in order to get the best of both worlds. This is what the world now calls intrapreneurship.

Hiring Entrepreneurs as Intrapreneurs

Because, there’s an entrepreneur who works intra, inside of the company instead. This is an entrepreneur who can develop business plans, who can build the entire business model, who can work with the team and so forth, but lacks specific things, like they may be unable to raise money. They may not be as good at hiring, or something else.

So, fitting into larger environment that is open to intrapreneurs, is something that is a great feat for them. They can work the type of job they love. They still have the freedom they need for the job, but at the same time, they get the backup from the company. They get extra funding. They get other people they can work with. They get presentations, whatever materials they have, and that’s awesome.

In fact, that’s one of the best things I see happening over and over again, companies hiring entrepreneurs as intrapreneurs and just trying to build the best of both worlds together and trying to prevent the delusion of talent over and over by inventing roles and inventing jobs suitable for the best people.

So yeah, in a nutshell, that’s it. Job descriptions are often wishlists. Push for them if needed. Also, talk to the businesses that you love and ask them if there’s something for you.