Are your job postings causing your company to miss out on the best candidates? Would you like to learn about an excellent job posting tips and suggestions on how to attract talented candidates – the kind that helps your company stand out from the competition?
Many organizations make common and potentially costly mistakes when they post a job opening. If you don’t want to be among them, it’s important to remember that job postings are often an applicant’s first impression of your business.
To attract top talent, you must make your job postings and descriptions concise yet as attractive as possible. This is important in any economy, but it’s even more critical in a tight labor market.
So, how can you be sure you write great job postings that make you stand out from the competition and appeal to the best and the brightest job seekers?
Know the difference between job postings and job descriptions
One of the fundamental mistakes many employers make is merely pulling up the job description – that document used to define the position internal to the organization and for performance appraisals – and post it online.
The problem with this approach is that you’re taking a document used for internal purposes and utilizing it for an external audience.
A job description includes a detailed list of all the responsibilities and requirements for success in a particular position. For example, “make 20 cold calls per week” and “meet with ten customers per week” are phrases you might see on a job description.
In comparison, a job posting is a marketing tool that should paint a picture of what it’s like to work for your company in the role you’re filling. For instance, “You’ll call on our C-suite-level clients to explain our new supply chain technology” would be more appropriate wording for a job posting.
Stick to traditional job titles
Some companies create job titles intended to be fun or that express disdain for tradition. If your business uses titles such as “marketing ninja” and “data guru” in online job postings, it may be at the expense of finding qualified candidates.
Using these types of whimsical job titles may lighten the mood in the workplace. But job seekers will likely search using labels like “marketing director” or “strategic data manager,” which means your posting won’t appear on their search engine results page (SERP).
Unclear job titles are detrimental to search engine optimization. Search engines and career listing websites use algorithms to help choose the most relevant search results. When applicants search for openings, confusing or non-standard titles will be listed lower in the products or not at all.
Remember, no law says your internal job title must be the same one you use when posting an opening. Use a traditional job title that prospective candidates understand and can find when they search.
Avoid jargon, buzzwords, legalese, clichés, and slang.
Particularly if you’re hiring for a job that you don’t fully understand, it can be easy to rely on jargon and clichés. However, job postings full of unnecessarily complex, ambiguous, or informal language are a turn-off to potential employees.
Buzzwords such as “self-starter,” “leverage,” “execution,” “outstanding growth potential,” and “viral” do little to explain the position or what a candidate’s life will be like if they work for your company.
Eliminate acronyms and abbreviations
With few exceptions, it’s a good idea to avoid acronyms and abbreviations in your job postings.
Your company’s internal acronyms will likely have no meaning to outsiders and should be avoided. For instance, “M&A” may mean “mergers and acquisitions” to you, but it could mean “marketing and advertising” or “managers and associates” to someone else.
Abbreviations don’t mean your listing won’t be posted or that it won’t be searchable. But it will be more difficult for prospective applicants to find you. This can hurt your chances of landing the most qualified candidate.
Sell your company’s culture and mission.
Historically, candidates had to sell themselves to a company – explain why they’re the best person for the job. In recent years, there’s been a shift. Now, we’re in an era when candidates expect you to sell them to your company.
As the employer, you’ve got to grab their attention immediately. If your job posting is too stuffy or formal, candidates will question your company culture. They may believe it’s a reflection of their future work experience, should they decide to work for you (and be hired).