What is the next position you want to hold in your career? You may not realize it, but studying the job description for that particular position can give you a strong strategy for progressing in your profession!

Here’s why. A job description contains all of the necessary essentials an individual must have to succeed in a certain position—from education, training and certification requirements, to hard and soft skills, years of experience and even personality types that are well-suited for that role. This information can easily be turned into a personal checklist of qualifications and skills you need to reach your professional goals. It may also reveal aspects about the job that you may not like—something to weigh carefully as you plan for your next career move.

Since job descriptions will vary by the organization posting them, it’s best to search out several different company listings for the position you are targeting. This will give you a feel for what facets of the job are fundamental and unchanging, and which parts fluctuate by industry and company. This process may even help point you in the direction of a specific company that appeals more to your interests than others. The more targeted you get with matching your objectives to opportunities, the better prepared you will be to succeed in landing your next position!

Take the guesswork out of getting ahead. Use job descriptions to identify the qualifications you lack and start gaining the skills required to move forward!