How to Write Better Job Postings

There’s a way to write better job postings to increase the likelihood you’ll receive more applicants.  Have you ever wondered why more candidates haven’t applied to your job posting?  Perhaps your posting reads like a book or instruction manual, with long lists of responsibilities, requirements, or qualifications.  When you read it, do you think it would entice you to apply?

Here are some simple rules you can follow to create a better template and improve your job postings.

1. Search and review other job postings

It stands to reason you should understand who is looking to fill the same position.  This is your direct competition for candidates.  See what they are doing well and where you have an advantage on which you can capitalize (i.e. benefits, location, culture, etc.).  Today, Indeed and LinkedIn are probably the two best places to start your research.

2. Use common titles that will show up on search engines

It may seem tempting to use a title like “Design Wizard”, “Sales Ace”, or “Quality Guru”.  It certainly shows creativity and reflects a fun culture.  The fact is, if the terms aren’t being searched, it’s less likely to be read.  Keep this in mind and use those types of terms in the body of the posting.  You can read more about job posting searchability at ApplicantStack.

Get more candidates from your job postings

3. Use appropriate tone and style

Keep in mind the audience you want to attract.  If you are seeking candidates who are creative, they are more likely to apply when the job posting reflects a creative culture.  Analytical people tend to like less fluff and more detail.  You’ll be less likely to attract a more professional candidate by using a lot of slang and, conversely, you probably won’t attract a progressive personality with a stuffy, formal job description.

4. Avoid long lists of qualifications

It can be difficult trimming down a long list of desirable qualifications.  Start by removing preferences and sticking with the necessary qualifications.  If you create a laundry list of desirable experience, candidates will be more likely to discount themselves.  Your goal should be to entice more applicants, so you have an opportunity to vet them and determine if they match.  Save the longer list of job requirements for internal purposes and use it during the interview process.

5. Sell your culture

Manufacturing candidate

This goes hand in hand with using appropriate tone.  What type of people like to work at your organization?  Identifying commonalities will make it easier for you to identify who will find your culture appealing.  Speak to these people in the job posting.  If you struggle to sell your culture, it could be the sign of a bigger problem.  I would recommend you read my previous blog post on improving employer brand here.

6. Highlight any key differentiators

Ask yourself why a candidate should want to work at your company.  It’s a simple question that you should be able to answer.  The reasons you’re able to cite are likely your key differentiators.  Use them to write a better job posting.  If the culture is fun, the benefits are great, the team is collaborative, or the pay is better than the competition, don’t be afraid to sell these things in your posting.  You don’t need to provide explicit details, but you should be genuine.  Remember, the goal of the posting is to generate interest.  Details can be shared during the interview process.

7. Remember job postings are marketing

Too often, job postings are formal and bland with that long list of qualifications defining what a company wants out of a candidate.  Job postings should include what a company is able to offer the right candidate.  Job summaries and position profiles are necessary for human resources, but job postings support recruiting and should serve a marketing function.  If you remember this, it will go a long way to writing better job postings.


Executek Recruiting Partners

Executek Recruiting Partners is a retained executive & technical recruiting firm that supports manufacturing and industrial companies.  We have over 40 years of experience finding and attracting top talent.  If you need recruiting support, contact us.  There is never a fee for a phone call.

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