5 Ways to Write Better Job Posts
We’ve broken down the basic components of a job post on this blog before, but there is always room for improvement. Here are five ways you can write better job posts, or help your customers do the same.
This slideshare featured on Recruiting.com recommends avoiding overly creative job titles. iMediaConnection has collected a list of hilariously (and unnecessarily) creative job titles here, that will give you an idea of what they mean. “Wizard of Light Bulb Moments” and “Chief Visionary Officer” might sound fun and quirky, but you’ll drastically reduce the discoverability of a job advertisement with that title. If you’re looking for an Inbound Marketing Strategist, don’t advertise for a “Growth Guru” if you’re hoping to cast a wide net. Candidates are unlikely to search using your fun and quirky terminology, and they won’t be using them in any email/job search alerts.
Get to the Point
Answer the immediate questions up front, so you capture the attention of the right people and don’t waste anyone’s time. Define the job first, then talk about your organization, company culture, benefits and compensation. The first thing any candidate wants to know is what the job is and to gauge their interest and level of qualification.
If they’ve gotten through that, it’s then that they will be curious about your organization. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal candidate, and think about reading the job post from their perspective. In your description, you should answer questions like “Why should I care? What’s interesting about this job? What’s in it for me?” to better capture their interest.
Is it a telecommuting-only job? Does it involve night shifts and odd hours? Is it a high-stress but insanely rewarding position? Don’t hide or minimize that information. You don’t want to invest time in evaluating and interviewing candidates only to find out that the fundamental restrictions of the job are incompatible with their life or preferred working style. And you don’t want to your candidate experience to suffer because you withheld such dealbreakers until the very end. Respect your candidates’ time as well as you do your own.
Being honest about what’s good about the job, as well as what’s tough, can be a better filter for weeding out inappropriate candidates than creating a long laundry list of qualifications. (Something that we see all too often in job descriptions.)
Be Positive, Not Threatening
SmashingMagazine does a great job of explaining the difference between a positive, succinct job post, and a long, ineffective one that winds up being vaguely passive-aggressive and/or threatening.
Rather than describing a “demanding work environment”, try talking about what sort of things you expect your ideal candidate to be passionate about and what drives them to succeed. “Lives to solve problems for customers and build positive relationships” works better than “ability to handle stressful situations while dealing with inbound customer support calls”.
Make it Pretty!
With endless forms of media, content, and digital technology vying for the eyes, ears, and attentions of everyone (including your preferred candidates), you’ve got to think about the visual appeal of your job post. People generally don’t read in an orderly, top-to-bottom fashion when browsing online, so make it easy for them to scan for the key points before they go in for a thorough review.
Use headings and subheadings, bold key points or phrases, and use lists (but don’t go overboard–you’re trying to attract someone, not creating a shopping list).