How to Identify What the Corporate Culture Is Like from The Job Advertisement

Infini Kimbrough
Posted by in Career Advice

A company’s values are revealed through its corporate culture. The shared values and beliefs of a company and its employees are reflected in social interactions and the work environment. These components of the company culture can also be communicated in various ways such as through  the organization’s branding, website copy, social media accounts, and mere word of mouth. However, the true essence of a company’s internal culture is usually understood with firsthand experience. Therefore, it is important for job seekers to conduct the necessary research needed to understand what the company values before applying. Some of these values may reveal themselves in the job advertisement if job seekers know what to look for.

How to Identify What the Corporate Culture is Like from the Job Advertisement

Most job descriptions will begin by telling you a little about the organization’s history, its vision, and its values before proceeding to introduce the job description. If the job advertisement itself doesn’t tell you anything about the company, or at least enough to determine if it’s the kind of organization you want to work for, then consider it a red flag.

In addition, look for adjectives that prove that the employer values its employees. Words and phrases such as “supportive,” “people-first,” and “compassionate,” are all positive terms that cater to the candidate.

Moreover, the job advertisement should explicitly provide a location. Look for a physical address, or words/phrases/acronyms like “remote,” “WFH,” “hybrid,” or “flexible.” Candidates should know what their workplace will look like before applying for a job. If the job advertisement does not clearly state its location, then it will be hard to envision oneself in the work environment.

Remember, the job advertisement should use language that describes the overall atmosphere of the workplace, as well as the core values of the company. The language in the job description should feel aligned with the culture that the company has expressed in its vision. If you are able to identify 3 or more essential components of the company culture simply by reading the job advertisement, then consider it a good sign.

Questions to Reflect on Before Applying for A Job

Now that you know what to look for in a job advertisement to determine what the corporate culture is like, use the following reflection questions to determine if you should apply for that job.

1. Do you and the company have a shared purpose?

2. Does the company uphold its values in visible ways?

3. Does the employer value its employees?

4. What do you know about the people who work for this organization? Are the current employees connected to the core values of the company?

5. What narrative is being passed down about this company? Is this a narrative you want to be a part of?

6. Does the job advertisement mention the type of workplace you are looking for? If not, does the employer offer workplace flexibility?

7. Does the job advertisement answer the above questions?

The job advertisement should not just tell you what you’ll be doing on the job every day, it should also reveal if you and the company have a shared purpose and if you can actually envision yourself a part of their culture. When searching for jobs, make a list of non negotiables that must be included in job advertisements in order for you to apply. This will help you narrow down your search and weed out any corporate cultures that you don’t identify with.


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