Writing a job posting is never easy. Writing a job posting which attracts the right candidates is even harder. Too often, managers have to sift through hundreds of ill-suited applications before finding the right person for the job. Even then, an unclear or uncertain job description could see those you do phone up finding reasons to ghost their interviews. The fact is that, if you don’t get this right, you’ll fail to make any real impression on the people you’re attempting to reach. You’ll get applicants for the pure reason that the job market is pretty saturated right now. But, failing to get this right makes it highly unlikely that you’ll actually find the right person for the job. At the very least, you’ll have to waste a lot more time and effort than you would if you took your time here in the first place.
The good news is, it’s easier to get this right than you might imagine. All you need to do is make sure you include the right information to each posting you publish. That way, you can target the applicants you’re after from the start. You can undoubtedly ensure you won’t have to sift through endless inappropriate applications. Of course, there will always be exceptions to that rule. For the most part, though, being clear about what you want is all it takes to make sure you get it. With that in mind, then, the formula for the ‘ideal’ job description is a simple one. To make it even easier for you, we’re going to break this issue down into keywords you need to include to reach the right audience. Read on to find out what they are.
Regardless of how much or little time you spend on your postings, the chances are you don’t give titles the attention they deserve. When you consider it, though, this is the first thing any applicant will see As such, it’s a big deal. In an online capacity, it’s even the thing which makes or breaks whether candidates click on your posting or not. With search capabilities, you may even find that your posting doesn’t any views if you give it the wrong title. Rather than using dull and uninspiring job titles, then, make the most of this opportunity. Use buzzwords which get people looking your way. Something like ‘publicist,’ for instance, is much more intriguing than ‘marketing consultant’. Use this, too, as an opportunity to let people know what you’re offering. Be as concise as you can to ensure this reveals what’s expected before people even read your description.
Let’s not beat around the bush; salary is the most crucial job information of all. People can say they ‘do it for the love’ as much as they like, but we all care about what lands in our banks each month. We have to, or else we wouldn’t be able to pay the bills. So, even if applicants don’t address the issue outright, the burning question for most is how much they’ll get paid. Admittedly, failure to include this information might not dissuade people from applying. Still, an unsatisfactory salary could see people turning down offers after the interview process. And, that’s a fast track to wasted time. To make sure it doesn’t happen, list a salary bracket at the start of any job application. This is a good indication of both whether the job is worth someone’s while, and how experienced you'd like applicants to be. A higher salary bracket, for instance, suggests that you’re after someone with experience. What’s more, this bracket can be broad, thus giving you wiggle room to suit the salary to individual applicants. Even if you only offer towards the lower end of that salary in the end, there’s a much lower chance applicants will turn you down.
Make sure, too, to outline the hours you expect from an applicant. Bear in mind, though, that stating either full or part-time won’t be enough here. Instead, you need to be more accurate with the exact hours. If you’re able, it may even be worth including start and finish times. At the very least, outline the average hours a week. That way, applicants know exactly what they’re signing up for. Again, this saves you wasting time on interviews which don’t work out. It also ensures you only receive applications from those willing to dedicate that amount of time. You will find this easier to settle on if you’re replacing somebody from a past role. If this is a new position within your enterprise, though, it can be pretty tricky to get this right. Spend time considering everything from your expectations to the hours put in by the rest of your team. Note, too, that this could be open for negotiation dependent on your applicant. But, that’s something you can worry about later. For now, be clear about the dedication you need, so that applicants can be clear on whether this is the job for them.
No aspect of your job posting is more important than a day-to-day outline of what you’ll expect of this position. This should include everything from an overview of general roles to a reason why people should want this job. If you think this will be easy, you can think again. The fact is that the more concise you can be here, the better chance you have of success. On top of which, you need to be able to sum things up in no more than a paragraph or two. Let applicants know exactly what you want them to bring to your organization. Outline example projects, and tasks you’ll expect them to complete on a regular basis. It may even be worth outlining who, if anyone, they’ll be working closely with. That way, you can ensure applicants feel able to complete the jobs described. You should also use this as a chance to sell yourself a little. Why should qualified individuals apply for your company over any others? What are you doing different/ how can you benefit them? If you want a little extra guidance here, sites like https://resources.workable.com have some more in-depth pointers on how to make this work. Either way, time and effort are of the essence.
When applying for a role within a new company, most applicants will also want to know about their chances for advancement. We’re a forward-moving species, after all, and few people are happy to settle for stagnant jobs. Hence why you need to outline any chance of progression within your firm if applicants are successful. If you use training courses like those found at www.ej4.com, make sure you mention that somewhere on your listing, too. Additions like these work on two counts. For one, they satisfy that pressing need for advancement. If applicants can see you offer training, there’s more chance of them seeing the benefits to what you offer. This also has the bonus of proving that you’re an employer who cares about their team. And, that in itself could be enough to pull desirable applicants away from less considerate employers. Bear in mind, though, that you should only list advancements you’re able to live up to. These promises have significant sway on the application process. You’ll soon lose new staff if you don’t hold your end of the bargain.
Make sure that you also list any requirements you have for this job role. These again ensure you half the time you spend sifting through inappropriate applications. You may also find that outlining the need for specific training or experience could increase the quality of applicants. You’ll certainly struggle to attract high-end applicants if you keep things open here. As such, you should outline at least some qualifications. Even if you’re flexible, something as simple as high school qualifications could give a boost of professionalism. You may even find that merely outlining the need for at least one year’s experience suits well. Either way, list these to let your applicants know what you’re after. While there may still be some exceptions, you’ll find most people will hold off applying if they’re miles away from your requirements. And, that’s about to make your life a whole load easier.
By following this simple formula, you can ensure your job descriptions get you where you need each time. It’s not rocket science, and mastering this once will cover you for every future employment drive. The point is to give potential applicants as much information as you can in as little space as possible. Bear in mind, too, that, at this stage, you’re the one being judged. In a way, your job posting is your side of the interview process. In the same way that you would use buzzwords to ace those tricky interview questions, use buzzwords to make yourself look like an appealing employer. And, these ones will serve you better than most. So, what are you waiting for? Don’t you have a job posting to write?
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Walter G. is a software engineer, startup co-founder, former CTO of several tech companies and currently teaches programming for a coding bootcamp. He has been blogging for the past 5 years and is an avid BMX rider, bio-hacker
and performance enthusiast.