Unlike diamonds, job ads are not forever. Once a company fills the role or stops taking applications, that ad can come down pretty quickly.
Why does this matter to you? After all, you found the ad and applied already. The advertisement has served its purpose.
Sure, the ad has served its purpose for the employer – e.g., it attracted talent — but it can still do a lot more for you, provided you copy the ad and save it somewhere for later access.
Here are three reasons why you’ll want to save a copy of the ad for every job you apply to.
1. Prep for the Interview
It’s the day before your interview, and you want to be in top form. You want to demonstrate to the interviewer why you’re the perfect fit for this job — you know you have all the qualifications and skills listed in the advertisement.
But exactly what skills and qualifications did the ad call for, again?
You hop onto whatever job board or career site hosted the ad and you can’t find it. Uh-oh.
Now, if you saved this ad, this is no problem. You can see again what the role calls for and tailor your answers and stories to showcase the specific skills and qualifications that the employer wants to see.
If you didn’t save the ad — well, you’re out of luck.
2. Double-Check the Job Itself
You wowed the employer with your thorough knowledge of the role and how well-suited you are for it, so you landed the job. Don’t toss the ad just yet!
Let’s say you start the job and find that it’s not quite what you expected. Pull up the old job ad and match your current duties and responsibilities to the ones advertised by the employer. You may find a significant mismatch between what you’re currently doing and what the employer said you would be doing.
Armed with the job ad as a solid piece of evidence, you can bring your concerns to the higher-ups and hopefully retool your job to match more closely the position you applied for.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t be flexible. Sometimes, employers need employees to pick up additional responsibilities, or unforeseen circumstances lead to slight shifts in operations. Be open to this sort of thing. Don’t march into your manager’s office, slam the ad down, and demand that you be given these and only these specific responsibilities. Instead, use the job ad to negotiate. You may need to make some concessions, but with hard proof in hand, you may have an easier time reshaping your role to fit your expectations.
3. Prove Your Value
It’s performance review time, and you’re gathering evidence of your phenomenal success at the company. But exactly what sort of evidence do you want to present to your evaluator?
Dust off that old, saved job ad, which lays out exactly what your employer was expecting of you when it hired you. Now you can tailor your evidence explicitly to your employer’s expectations. Show your evaluator how you performed your duties in exact accordance with the role’s stated aims and purposes.
Using the job ad helps you make a more coherent case for the value you bring to the company. It gives structure to your evidence. You won’t be naming random projects or statistics: you’ll be carefully and explicitly demonstrating how you met each and every one of your responsibilities.
A job ad can be your friend and ally — as long as you keep it around.