Writing a job post that effectively piques the interest of the right candidate requires familiarity with what appeals to job seekers–and time. It could take anywhere from three hours to an entire day to craft the perfect listing. And, from there, it could require ongoing attention and additional revisions based on the level of candidate response. Follow this easy five-step formula to avoid interviewing candidates who simply aren’t a fit for your company, culture, or position.
Step #1: Optimize Job Titles
The first step towards writing a job post that stands out is paying close attention to the job title. This one headline lets a candidate know if they are interested in your position or not. A descriptive, accurate, optimized job title is what engages candidates to read further.
While getting too creative or unique with your job title can turn candidates off, there is a way to showcase your company’s personality without sacrificing quality. An article from Indeed states that “Job titles can be fun and indicative of a more laid-back culture. However, without a cultural frame of reference, using them in your job listings can affect how well your job posting does.” For example:
- Yes: Human Resources Manager
- No: HR Rockstar
Step #2: Describe the Position
When writing a job post, the first paragraph should include a short and engaging overview of the job. A two-to-five-sentence definition that outlines the role’s major function and how it contributes to the company’s efforts at large will suffice.
Only include the most important information so the paragraph is brief enough to pique the candidate’s interest. The idea here is that you recognize how essential the role is so that the candidate will want to read further. Again, avoid using superlatives or extreme modifiers in this paragraph.
Step #3: Outline the Role
Job seekers want to be able to visualize themselves working in the position they’re reading about. The paragraph following the description should paint a picture of the position’s day-to-day responsibilities. Here, it’s important to speak directly to the reader rather than using informal language, like “the right candidate.”
Your statements should be short, but we encourage you to use descriptive language to help the reader understand what their life could be like at your company. The more you can emphasize the importance of the role, the more engaging your job listing will be. For example:
- Yes: You will close sales on a weekly basis, excel in providing exceptional customer service, and help our customer operations team meet their numbers each month.
- No: The right candidate will be responsible for generating “x” number of sales and serving as the direct contact for customer service.
Step 4: List Responsibilities and Requirements
This section should be written intentionally to include the key job functions in approximately five concise bullet points. Avoid listing numerous mundane tasks to fill the space. Readers typically skim this section of the job listing so quality over quantity is the goal.
As soon as you have effectively earned the interest of potential candidates, they will jump to the bottom to determine if they’re qualified. The qualifications section should include another concise bulleted list that contains only the most necessary requirements for the role.
Requirements should include skills, educational achievements, and experience needed to perform the job. You can always round out the list with additional preferred skills if you feel that would allow you to identify more qualified candidates. Preferred skills could include additional education, proficiency in particular programs/courses, etc.
Step #5: Share Culture and Value Propositions
While it’s crucial to nail the sections above with concise and intentional information, job listings should not lack personality. As your company’s first point of reference, it’s important that your culture and value propositions shine through.
This CIO article states that “Culture is everything in recruitment. Everything eventually comes back to a candidate asking themselves, ‘Will I be a good fit and really enjoy working there?’ So it’s critical that culture is all over the job description.”
Be sure to highlight the benefits, perks, incentives, and testimonials from employees who love to work there. If you provide a stipend for food or exercise, include it in your job listing. If you offer mental health days or generous maternity or paternity leave, let it be known!
Crafting the perfect job listing is both an art and a science. It requires taking all of the steps above to position your team for attracting the most qualified candidates. However, there is no such thing as a perfect formula! If your current job listing isn’t performing as expected, consider enlisting help from an experienced recruiting agency to take a second look. In the meantime, we recommend exploring these 5 Recruitment Strategies for Hard-to-Fill Positions.