- Writing a high quality job posting isn’t difficult, but it is formulaic. Including all of the information candidates want to know increases the likelihood of them applying.
- Job postings and job descriptions are not the same thing, and if you’re just posting the job description online and hoping to get high quality talent, you’re likely to be disappointed.
- If you’re still struggling after reading this article, look up free templates online to help you get started.
No matter what job you are trying to fill, the goal remains the same. You want your job posting to attract the best candidates. But what information does the ideal candidate want and need in order to hit the “Apply” button? You may be surprised.
Here are tips and examples of what you need in order to write that job posting that will land you the ideal employee.
Job Posting vs. Job Description
Contrary to what many people think, there is a big difference between a job posting and a job description.
A job posting is a written external advertisement for a job opening that your company has. It is written in an engaging way in order to give candidates compelling reasons to apply. It consists of five or six basic parts that will focus on what that ideal candidate really wants to know.
A job description is an internal document that describes a particular job in a company. It has a formal tone and includes the details of the job you are planning to fill. A job description is often enclosed with an employment contract.
Being Concise Is Crucial
Approximately 50 percent of the people who will view your job posting are doing so from a mobile device. Keeping your job post short and sweet makes it easier for a candidate to read on their smartphone.
According to a LinkedIn study, “job posts with 150 words or less got candidates to apply 17.8 [percent] more frequently than job posts with 450-600 words.” While it may be a challenge to keep it to 150 words, the key message here is that being concise is crucial to getting more applicants.
The Most Important Information
An Eye-Catching Job Title
Make the job title clear and easy to understand, ideally using industry standard terms. Resist the urge to use words like “superhero”, “ninja”, or “alpha”. Although they may seem creative, you will increase your odds of attracting applicants who misinterpret what the job really is. You may also put off otherwise perfect candidates.
If you aren’t sure, check out competitors’ websites to see if they have similar postings in their career section. This can give you a sense of what’s out there.
The job summary is a section candidates often use to decide if they want to apply. This is where you summarize the position and the company as a whole.
It is not necessary to go into great detail about the company. Most candidates will check out the company website if they remotely interested. However, giving a sense of company goals, culture or anything else that’s unique may entice candidates to apply.
Make the first sentence or two captivating. Remember that a job posting is essentially an advertisement, so this is where you want to mention reasons why a candidate would want to work with you. Think about the reasons why you were excited to work for the company. This may help with your sales pitch.
In this section, list the responsibilities and duties of the position. The goal here is to draw a clear picture of what a typical day on the job will look like. Putting these responsibilities and duties in bullet point form will keep things concise and easy to read.
This is also the section where you can highlight any special training that is provided by the company.
A Hewlett Packard internal report, quoted in a Harvard Business Review article, states, “Men apply for a job when they meet only 60 [percent] of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100 [percent] of them.”
46 percent of the men polled said they thought they would not get hired because they couldn’t meet the qualifications. They didn’t want to waste their time. The same response was given by 40.6 percent of the women.
To ensure you don’t accidentally turn off some excellent candidates, clearly specify what qualifications are absolutely required and which are “nice to have”.
This section can also be put in bullet point form.
If your company offers competitive compensation and great perks, mention them! Do they reimburse employees for educational courses they decide to take? Do they offer gym memberships? Is there a car or gas allowance? Maybe you offer daycare in your building?
Make sure to mention the benefits you offer. Many candidates are looking for a company that will better their work-life balance, and perks are a great way to do this.
Salary is a critical part of whether a candidate will accept a job offer. If you know you have a firm salary or even a salary range that you can’t exceed, include it in the job posting.
Resist the urge to keep the salary a secret from candidates until further into the interview process. While you may hope that it will result in getting a top notch hire for a “steal”, it’s more likely that you’ll waste resources taking a candidate through the interview process who will ultimately turn down your offer because of the salary.
Of course, this changes if you know you’re actually offering a very competitive salary. In that case, posting the salary may attract top tier candidates who know how much they’re worth, increasing your candidate pool. Either way, including the salary or salary range is a good idea.
Candidates appreciate knowing the company’s process between applying and being hired. Is it a two or three interview process? If you have a one interview process, you will attract candidates who are available to start immediately. If you are able to be transparent and upfront with the hiring process, you’ll preemptively answer a question that every single candidate is wondering.
Keep It Gender Neutral
A study in the American Psychological Associations’ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that masculine words made women less interested in applying for jobs. 13 percent less interested to be exact. Inclusive and gender neutral language will help attract candidates of all genders and sexualities, which is not only a good business move, but also an important part of being a decent human being.
To see if your job posting is gender neutral, try running it through Totaljob’s Gender Bias Decoder or the Gender Decoder. Both tools are free to use and may help expose any accidental biases in your writing.
When to Post Your Job
Most job postings are viewed and applied for on Mondays, followed by Tuesday and Wednesday. The remainder of the week yields far fewer views and applications. As such, posting your job at the beginning of the week will provide you with more applications in a shorter period of time.
Where to Post Your Job
The most popular and effective sites for your job posting is your company website career section, job boards, and your company’s social media pages, including LinkedIn. Sending the job post to some of your clients is something worth considering too.
The most common job boards are:
If you are interested in a niche job board for tech jobs, you may want to try Dice. For design jobs, Bēhance is another option.
A concise and engaging job posting will clearly describe your job and the company for potential candidates. A job posting is also meant to “sell” the position, increasing the number of quality candidates who apply.
If you’re feeling stuck, try looking at a job posting template. There are many free options online that can be found with a quick Google search.
When you focus on the most important information that candidates want, you will be much closer to meeting your goal of finding the ideal person for the job.