What Are Job Requirements? (With 8 Examples of Requirements)
Updated 19 May 2023
Job requirements refer to the skills or qualifications needed to perform well in a professional role. An employer may detail these necessities in the job description and wish to discuss them with you in an interview. Understanding what job requirements are can help you evaluate whether you're a good fit for a new position. In this article, we define job requirements, identify eight key requirement types an employer may specify and how to work out whether you're qualified for a job.
What are job requirements?
The answer to 'what are job requirements?' is that they're conditions the employer wants met by candidates that make them suitable for the role. Job requirements include the information, traits and talents that a company is looking for in potential employees applying for an open position. Meeting these specifications implies you can complete the tasks successfully. Each job has different job requirements defined by the industry and the nature of its duties.
8 types of job requirements
Here's a list of job requirements that employers may specify in a job description:
1. Educational qualifications
Recruiters may specify the type of formal classroom training that candidates require to perform tasks effectively. They might require candidates to have a specific educational qualification, such as a high school certificate, bachelor's degree, master's degree or doctorate. Some companies may show a preference for a particular subject. Alternatively, some jobs may require you to hold a diploma in a relevant field.
High-level careers in law, veterinary science, education, science and medicine usually require candidates qualified at bachelor level or above. Employers often specify formal education to ensure you have job-specific skills and a strong baseline of knowledge surrounding that field of work. Companies typically hire candidates who like learning new things and honing their abilities to advance in their careers.
2. Specific knowledge
Specific knowledge refers to information that a candidate has to know to complete specialised tasks competently. For example, this requirement can relate to operating specific software, understanding medical terminology or using specialist equipment. It may also refer to understanding certain statutory requirements. Additional research, experience in the field and individual interest are all crucial in acquiring specialised expertise.
Employers may also specify a variety of hard skills required. Examples of such technical attributes may include customer service, mathematics or computer literacy, which can help candidates with computer programming, data analysis, technical writing and project management. It's common for employers to specify desired knowledge, particularly in technical areas such as engineering, architecture and research.
3. Personal traits and attributes
Personality traits and attributes like enthusiasm, commitment, cooperation, a desire to learn new things, attention to detail and creativity help employers identify individuals that are compatible with the organisation's culture. These specifications enable employers to find candidates with dispositions that correspond to the organisation's values. Soft skills like critical thinking, good communication and time management can help candidates collaborate with co-workers.
Incorporating traits and attributes in a job listing can help candidates visualise the work environment. For example, a job that specifies flexibility and self-motivation may offer a flexible work schedule. Similarly, one that requires good interpersonal skills and active listening may value open workspaces.
4. Specific physical requirements (if any)
Many job descriptions specify physical activities performed by someone in the role. These might include prolonged standing or sitting, bending or twisting and the amount of weight a candidate can lift. These are useful in evaluating if candidates are physically competent to carry out the tasks of the role. Industries such as construction, maintenance and sports, along with roles in the military and police, are most likely to specify particular physical requirements. If not stated in the job requirement, you may wish to ask if there are any physical tests for the role so you can prepare.
5. Linguistic competence
Some job listings may require candidates to be bilingual or have a certain degree of linguistic competence in English and/or other specified languages. Employers may specify a proficiency level starting with beginner, limited, professional, full or fluent and native speaking. Linguistic competence can help an organisation that works with a global team remotely or serves international clients or customers. Organisations may also prefer bilingual candidates if there are opportunities to work abroad.
6. Work experience
Work experience indicates the time you have spent in the industry, or experience you may have gained in a similar industry. Recruiters use work experience to know how acquainted candidates might be with the role and the level of experience they've gained in the role or related jobs. Higher-level positions may require more expertise than entry-level roles since professionals usually earn more complex duties the longer they work in a particular field.
7. Professional licences, certifications or accreditations
Some employers may require or prefer candidates to have specific professional licences, certifications or accreditations that prove their skill level. This requirement verifies whether candidates satisfy professional standards or can do particular responsibilities. Some licences are also mandatory in fields like construction and transport.
Obtaining these credentials usually involves gaining professional experience, continuing education and passing a test. Employers might specify courses that an industry board or regulator has accredited. Accreditation often certifies a candidate's high working standard. Highly technical sectors, such as architecture, engineering, medicine and design, are most likely to detail these specifications.
8. Travel requirements
Some occupations may require frequent travel nationally or internationally. Organisations may be looking for candidates who have the flexibility to be available for travel, and ensuring that the successful candidate has no restrictions that may limit travel.
How to tell if you meet job requirements
You can follow these steps to know if you meet job requirements:
1. Generate a check-list of requirements
Job advertisements provide information about the position and organisation. Read the job advertisement thoroughly to understand what the employer requires. The role may be a perfect fit if you can match your abilities against the employer's needs.
You can compile a check-list by extracting any keywords that describe abilities, traits or accomplishments that the employer has mentioned as essential or preferable. Consider including unique expertise, physical talents and linguistics in your list if the job is highly technical, physically demanding or works with a global market. You may also list any licences or certificates relevant to the open position.
2. Identify essential requirements
Although job advertisements each have unique structures, you can uncover some essential qualities that the organisation might like to see in a candidate. Some advertisements might include alternative forms of qualifications and experience by using the word 'or' when specifying essential qualifications.
Alternatively, others may state that the skill is 'desirable but not needed'. You may add these watchwords to the second level of your list and be certain you label them as 'preferred'.
3. Determine which personal attributes align with the role
Soft skills, such as communication, organisation and time management, are often transferable across many industries. Ensure you incorporate them clearly to show recruiters that you qualify for the job. Search for lines like 'The ideal candidate is/has...' in the job description to uncover these characteristics.
Some advertisements may use a bullet list to describe desirable attributes such as 'excellent communicator' or 'work with accuracy'. Refer to your traits using the same words the employer uses to show you align with the requirements directly.
Related: Guide: 16 Personality Types
4. Evaluate your achievements
Make a note of which of the requirements on the advertisement you satisfy. You may identify the educational qualification you have on the list. Extensive field experience can sometimes substitute for academic qualifications, as you may have learnt the skills necessary while working. In this case, recruiters usually specify education corresponding with expertise in the job description.
If you have a qualification of the same level as the one required, but in a different subject, you may supplement knowledge by describing any certifications that can prove your abilities. You could also describe the transferable skills that allow you to work at a higher level.
5. Highlight your hard skills
Hard or technical skills are important and can help you secure employment. They're job-specific abilities that allow you to complete your daily tasks. The following are examples of hard skills:
Writing: Copy-writing and editing are common hard skills across many industries. This skill may help with report writing, creative writing or social media posting.
Computer technology: Basic computers skills are essential as many companies use digital technology. Some roles require advanced computer literacy to complete technical work, such as coding, digital record keeping and designing.
Data analysis: Certain roles require data analysis skills, including data mining and database management through training and certifications.
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