Skills are not a universal language. A college degree doesn’t mean we have equal education or experience. I learned this the hard way when I started my first job. But let me back up a little to explain.
I was an Army brat. Implied: we moved a lot – 13 times between starting kindergarten and graduating high school. Unfortunately, orders never happened on my schedule. When we were told to go, that’s what we did. That didn’t leave a ton of time for goodbyes or real transitions between schools.
At first, it didn’t matter much. I learned to read in the back of a car. I fell in love with reading, so no matter how behind I was, I loved to catch up. I understand sentence structure before I knew what to call it.
Math? Not so much. There’s not one curriculum across the country for what you learn each month in math. Fractions and decimals? I 100% missed those lessons in the classroom.
When I got older, it started causing problems. I thought I just sucked at math. I narrowly made it through high school math. I completely changed my major in college because of a business calculus class. I changed my entire career path because I was avoiding numbers.
But I couldn’t avoid the numbers in my first job: Sales and Marketing Manager for a tutoring center. As part of our group interview, we took basic Math and English tests. There I was sitting with 15 kids who had the same degree as me, definitely not feeling like an equal.
By some miracle, I passed that math test. About half didn’t.
Skills are not a universal language
That’s the thing about years of experience and degree requirements. They imply that skills are a universal language. That somehow by merely sharing a title or a piece of paper, you are equally skilled.
We all know that’s not even a little true.
Still, we write bulleted skill lists in job postings that start with “5+ years of experience…” or “degree required,” even if we know without a doubt that doesn’t mean anything.
Live Job Post Rewrite How-To: Bulleted Skill List Overhaul
In this screen share, I’ll show you a few examples on how to flip those bulleted lists from boring to exceptional – and most importantly, effective.
Here are those bullets if you want to use them as templates:
For a more in depth job post overhaul sign up for our on-demand job post writing course.
Katrina (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.