Job postings are intended to inform potential applicants of an opening and induce them to apply for it. Unfortunately, many of these fall short resulting in too few qualified applicants. There is definitely both an “art” and a “science” component to crafting compelling job postings. Here are a few tips to get you on the right path.
- Job Title – Effective job postings start with a good title. Use real job titles that make sense, with words spelled out (not abbreviated). Remember that job seekers find your job postings FIRST by doing searches. They are searching for “digital marketing manager” jobs … NOT “social media ninja” jobs. Don’t use titles that are based on your internal classification system – job seekers don’t search based on those terms and may not understand the difference between “systems analyst I” and “systems analyst II” … especially since those distinctions are unique to each organization. If you could use two different titles that are very similar, do some keyword research and select the option that has the higher search volume.
- Location – The location fields on job postings used to be simple, but have gotten more complicated with the surge in remote roles. Many job aggregators exclude jobs that don’t include a location. At the same time, you can also get penalized for posting identical jobs that are in multiple locations. We often tell users to include the city plus the state or country. For remote position, you can add it to the title or reference it early in the description. For identical jobs in multiple cities, select one and then list the additional cities in the description. This is a fluid situation without much standardization across platforms for now.
- Job Description – Provide the most important information first! Answer the question “WIIFM … What’s In It For Me?” Job seekers want to know what they’ll be doing, what a typical day looks like, what tools they’ll be using, etc. Don’t start your advertisement out by talking about your company and how great it is. Employees have undergone a massive shift in priorities regarding work – so talk about the work in an exciting, yet honest way. If the job involves lots of travel, say that. If the successful candidate will manage a team of 10, say that. Use your most important keywords early on in your posting where they’ll give you the biggest SEO boost. Be descriptive yet concise. Save your “About Us” for a brief statement at the end.
- Qualifications – Really focus on 3-5 “must have” qualifications or attributes. And do the internal work to determine what qualifications you *really* need – is 5 years of experience really that important? What if someone has 4 years of directly relevant experience – would you screen them out automatically? Also learn about implicit bias with qualifications – studies have shown that women are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet ALL the qualifications, whereas men will apply if they meet 60 percent of them. A college degree may not be totally necessary and may also still be a luxury that wasn’t available to an otherwise-qualified candidate.
- Salary Range – Include the salary range on your job posting, full stop. Not only is it becoming a legal requirement in many areas of the United States, it wastes less time for both employers and job seekers.
Good candidates have many options in today’s job market. Don’t miss out on the talent you need due to lackluster job postings.