Imagine receiving hundreds of applications for a single job post, only to find a few qualified candidates. That's a lot of time spent reading cover letters and reviewing resumes, and honestly, you have more important things on your plate.Whether you are backfilling a position for someone who has left your company or you're hiring for a brand new position, writing an engaging, accurate job description can be a daunting task.
A job posting should be written to help you recruit the most qualified candidates in a timely manner AND help the candidates with a clear understanding of the role and your company culture. Candidates can spend what seems like endless hours searching for a job, and the job posting is their first impression of your company. Here are 5 tips to help your posting stand out:
1) Have a Clear Job Title
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised at how many companies forget to put a job title, or the title leaves the jobseeker confused. Here are some real examples of bad job titles I came across:
- STAKE & SEAFOOD
- Work from home!!
- Interview tomorrow! Start Next Day!
- BE YOUR OWN BOSS, WORK FROM ANYWHERE, MAKE UP TO $8000
- Truck? Tools? Mechanically Inclined?
- Immediate Openings - Set Your Own Schedule - Work From Home
- We Need Drivers For Our Parties The Phone Doesn't Stop Ringing
These titles made me chuckle and roll my eyes at the same time. If you're asking, "what's wrong with these titles?" then let me explain.
The purpose of a job title is so the employee clearly understands the position, as well as defining the job expectations. When coming up with a job title, it's necessary to consider what you want it to reflect. A job title can describe the responsibilities of the position, the level of the job, or both.
Types of Job Titles:
- Job titles that include the terms "executive," "manager," "director," "chief," "supervisor," etc. are typically used for management jobs.
- Other job titles reflect what the person does on the job, such as "cook," "auditor," "writer," "waitress," "firefighter," "graphic designer," "repairman," etc.
- Some job titles reveal both the job level and job responsibilities, such as "head officer," "play director," "office manager," "senior coordinator," etc.
2) Have an Accurate Job Description
Have you ever taken a job that was completely different from what you expected? It's definitely not a pleasant experience! Inaccurate job descriptions can lead to attracting the wrong candidate and an unhappy employee. The job description is where the candidate will absorb the bulk of the crucial information they need. It needs to be clear, thought-through, and well-written.
Job Description Tips:
- Be honest about aspects such as core responsibilities, hours, location(s), benefits, etc.
- Stick to the facts and avoid superlatives or extreme modifiers such as "best of the best!"
- Highlight the most attractive parts of the position by using keywords. For example, a writer might look for words such as "blog," "article," and "writing."
- Make the responsibilities and requirements reader-friendly and avoid using complicated words.
- Bullet points are a great way to give the reader a quick breakdown of responsibilities, but make sure to include full sentences as well.
Accurately writing all of this information will be sure to attract the attention of qualified candidates.
3) Keep it Short… but Not Too Short
If a job description is too short, it could demonstrate carelessness. If a job description is too long, it can be intimidating. So, where's the sweet spot? Well, different people in different industries will give you different advice.
- Indeed- 350-1,000 words
- Texito- 300-700 words
- Undercover Recruiter- 500-600 words
This is one of those circumstances where you need to use your best judgment. After writing everything out, read it over a few times, take a break, and come back. Put yourself in the candidate's shoes and ask yourself, is there anything I can take out? Is there anything I left out? Does this job post accurately describe the job I am advertising? Think about it, and go with your gut.
4) Correct Spelling and Grammar
Sometimes spelling and grammar mistakes can be funny! But most of the time, they look downright unprofessional, especially when writing something as significant as a job posting.
Think of the posting as a first impression. The jobseeker sets expectations for the jobs they're applying for. Don't lose your credibility by forgetting to turn on spellcheck.
I admit... there have been times when I re-read a piece of writing over and over again, only to find a mistake during the 20th proofread! We're only human, and we all make mistakes. Unfortunately, the more mistakes there are, the harder it will be to recruit. So, remember to turn on that spellcheck and have more than one pair of eyes read it over.
💡 Tip: Go the extra mile and download Grammarly to help with spelling, grammar, word choice, and sentence structure. 💡
5) What Makes You Stand Out?
You're looking to attract the best and brightest people for the job you're posting. Almost every company will say that they're "different." But what about your company makes you different? Other than salary and benefits, what's in it for them? What is your culture like?
Trust in the old saying, "treat others the way you would like to be treated." If you're looking for a candidate with enthusiasm, drive, creativity, passion, a sense of humor, and work ethic, then put those qualities into your job posting!
A boring job posting is typically one that's dry and uninformative. After including the above tips, be sure to put your companies personality into it. If you're looking for an example, here's the job posting for Harger Howe that this writer was drawn to:
So, why was I interested in this job? Not only because of the unlimited coffee, but the genuine honesty, a hint of personality, and accuracy that was put into writing this. This job post hits all 5 tips!
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