YOUnique4Europe - Mapping and presenting your unique personal and social competences for better employability in a digital world
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Exercise 1.2 - Breaking down a job posting

Employers define the job’s requirements and write the job description to clarify the purpose, tasks, and responsibilities of the job. The job description also indicates the person specification in terms of knowledge, competence, and (soft) skills. Some of the required soft skills can be made explicit in a job posting, while others can be implicit as they tend to be valued anyways.

Soft skills are “transitional, transferrable, foundational” as they work for any job and most careers and are about how employees interact with others and attitudes. Having a good set of soft skills have become the discriminatory factor that distinguishes between workers having a similar level of technical expertise and/or certifications (or between AI and humans). Companies’ potential of growth and wellbeing grows with soft skills. Soft skills demand is expected to grow together with the digitalization of work.


Before you start this exercise

Necessary to do this exercise:


Helpful to do this exercise:


How to complete this exercise

Step 1 - Job Posting Analysis

Take the job posting description you selected for this exercise. Read the description and look at the language it uses. Highlight with different colours and shapes:

  • Purpose, tasks and responsibilities of the job,
  • Person specifications: knowledge, competences, and skills,
  • Hard skills and soft skills - these questions can help to identify them:

Are there soft skills that are explicitly required?

Why are they important for the job?

What soft skills you think that may be important for the role even if they are not explicitly required in the job posting description?

Why are they important for the job?

Step 2 - Job posting description writing

This part of the exercise is better done in couples or small groups.

Imagine to be an employer of a company in a field you are interested in. You have a vacancy. Refer to Annex 1 – Info sheet on recruiting processes and use the internet to find the info you need to

a) define the role and the person specification,
b) write the job posting description and
c) define the selection criteria.

At the end each group presents and explains its work to the rest of the class and an-swer to colleagues’ questions.

Congratulations - You made it!


Educators' area

Background information and teaching material for guiding your students through the exercise or offering it in your classroom




  • To see what skills, competences and knowledge will be the most required in the future by European country consult the yearly Skills Forecast of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP).

The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.



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