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The Definitive Guide to Writing Job Posts That Attract Great Candidates

The Definitive Guide to Writing Job Posts That Attract Great Candidates

The content of a job posting has a huge job. Those words can either make job seekers become eager to apply for the job or click on to the next job posting. But writing an engaging job posting can be challenging. Which makes simply copying and pasting the position’s job description very tempting. 

 

However, with a little planning and rethinking about the purpose of the job posting you can easily write a job posting that will attract high quality applicants who are a good fit for your business.

 

In this post, we’ll share with you what every job posting should include. You’ll also learn how to effectively structure job postings for maximum engagement and results. So if you want to easily create job postings that will help you fill those vacant jobs, this resource is for you.

What a Job Posting Is And Is Not

To start, it’s important to understand what a job posting is and what it is not. A job posting is not a job description. A job description informs an employee of the work they are expected to do and the results they are expected to produce for their employers. 

A  job description is a human resources and performance management tool. It is written for people who already work for your company, for employees. A job posting is none of these things. 

The primary goal of a job posting is to gain the attention of job seekers to such a level that they are compelled to want to work for your company. So much so that they begin your selection process by submitting an application for employment. 

  • A job posting is written to and for people who do not yet work for your company. 

  • A job posting is a recruitment tool to communicate your employment opportunity, what’s needed to succeed in that role and what someone who does that job for your company can expect to receive in return.  

Ultimately a job posting is an employment marketing tool to reach people who do not yet work for your business.

Let's Start Start Planning

So now we know what a job posting is and what it should accomplish. Let’s talk about how an effective job posting is structured and what information should be included. A job posting has the following parts:

  1. A job title

  2. An overview about the company

  3. Details about the job

  4. What’s in it for them

  5. Pay and benefits

  6. Application instructions and hiring requirements

  7. Media (video and pictures)

We’ll talk about each of these elements in detail. But as a handy reference you can save a copy of the image below. This infographic gives a visual outline for all of the elements of an effective job posting. This template can work for any job and any business.

 

 

1- Job Title

Every job posting needs a job title. The job posting informs the job seeker of what type of work will be done and possibly the skills or education that may be required. The job title also helps job seekers filter job postings that are of interest to them. 

It may seem obvious to just use the job title of the job that you’re recruiting. In most cases, that will be fine. The main point is to use a job title that will be easily understood outside of your business. 

For example, if your business calls customer representatives, Customer Happiness Specialists, that’s not the best job title to use when recruiting outside of your business. The best job title may simply be Customer Service Representative for external recruitment purposes. 

The most important thing to remember about job titles is simple. Make sure that people who are outside of your business can clearly understand what type of work will be done based on the title they see.

2- About the Company

Including a section that briefly describes the company is helpful for jobseekers. The about the company section should give job seekers insight into:

  • What your company does

  • Who your company serves

  • Why your company exists

The idea is to keep this section short and to the point. It should be long enough to accomplish the above tasks but shouldn’t be treated like the About Us page on your business webpage.

 

3- Details About the Job

The details part of the job posting includes lots of information. Depending on the job board that you are using, there may be specific fields to enter this information. 

We will cover all of the job details that are critical to include in this section, even though they may actually appear separately or in a different order in your job board platform of choice. 

The details you’ll want to include and be clear about are:

  • The work to be done

  • Skills and requirements

  • Pay

  • Work schedule

  • Work location

  • Benefits

  • What’s in it for them

The Work Done in the Job

This is where you will outline the general tasks of the person who performs this job. Again, you don’t have to copy the job description, but provide enough details so that the jobseeker can get an idea of the work involved with the job. Jobseekers should also be able to determine if they have the skills and the desire to do the job after reading.

Required Skills

Jobseekers will need to know if they meet the education and experience expectations for your company before applying. This section is where you tell them. 

A common mistake is to include requirements that aren’t really necessary for the job, but are nice to have. For the sake of the job posting, it is recommended to only list requirements that are actually needed. 

Ask yourself, what education, skills and character traits are required for someone to be successful in this job? Those are the only items you want to include. 

While not necessarily a skill, you may wish to explain any physical demands of the job, such as standing moving, bending or lifting that people performing this job do regularly as part of their work.

Pay

Pay matters. It’s on the mind of every job seeker when looking for a job. The job posting is the perfect time to disclose pay. 

Here’s the unavoidable truth. Job seekers know who much they need or want to earn. Businesses know how much they can afford to or are willing to pay. So why wait to get the money talk out in the open? 

Putting off the pay talk will waste your time and that of the job seeker. It is pointless to get involved in the hiring process to only lose the applicant because compensation doesn’t meet expectations. 

Sharing what the pay range is in the job posting allows jobseekers with pay expectations that don’t align with your payroll budget to choose not to apply. You’ll also have a bit more certainty that the applications you receive are from people who are interested in the work and satisfied with the potential pay.

 

 

Schedule

Including a work schedule in a job posting is essential. This is even more critical for hourly jobs.

Applicants are balancing many things like kids school, college course schedules, childcare, transportation and possibly other jobs. Providing this information lets applicants know if the job is a good match for their lives. So what exactly should you include? 

These are some key things to include about the schedule for the job:

  • Days of the week the job seeker must be available to work.

  • The hours that the jobs seeker must be available to work.

  • If the schedule is fixed or variable.

  • If working on holidays is required.

Job seekers should be able to read the schedule description and decide if they can work this schedule or not before applying. Any other details that will be helpful to making that decision should also be shared.

Work Location

The location of the worksite is an important factor for job seekers. Job seekers need to know if they can get to the worksite or want to make the commute to get there. 

For many job seekers who depend on public or shared transportation, your worksite can be a deciding factor on where or not they can dependably get to the work. This all helps the jobseeker decide if this is the best job for them. 

It’s best to know this as early as possible to save time in your recruiting process.

Benefits

The benefits that your company offers can be a competitive advantage and help you company recruit the best employees. If your company offers benefits, don’t be shy about listing those benefits. 

Even if your business does not offer a traditional benefits program, think about any perks or advantages that you business offers employees. 

  • Does your company offer fixed or flexible schedules? 
  • Do you offer other perks, services, free meals or reimbursements to employees? 

These types of non-traditional benefits can and should be highlighted. Just a quick note. If your business does not offer traditional benefits, consider calling this section “Perks” instead of benefits for clarity.

The idea is to showcase any and all things that you give to employees for working for your company.

What's in it for Them?

It’s really tempting to make a job posting very technical. It’s easy to spell out everything you want the new employee to do for your business. 

But strictly focusing on the job description, what skills you want in a candidate, basically what you want, could turn off job seekers. Or if they still apply, the applicant probably simply skimmed the posting and never read all of those details anyway. 

What gets an applicant, the right applicant engaged in your job posting is to make it about them. You can and should still include a description of what the job entails and the qualifications for the job but it should tell a story where the job seeker is the focus. 

Highlight how the job seeker would benefit from working for your company. Promote all the things that make your business a great place to work and how their lives will be improved by joining your team. 

This is what jobseekers really want to know to excite them about working for you company.

4- Application Instructions and Hiring Requirements

Most companies have a specific process to receive job applications. Provide instructions for how interested job seekers may apply. 

Begin creating a positive applicant experience by educating job seekers on what to expect in the hiring process. What should you include? Think about the things that you want to know as a job seeker. You may choose to list:

  • When and how interviews are scheduled. Do you only schedule interviews on Tuesday between 10 am and 1pm? Share that.

  • Background and reference checks that your company does.

  • Testing or assessments that applicants take as part of your hiring process.

  • How you want to receive applications.

  • How you will communicate with the applicant.

Finally clearly list important dates such as application closing dates or other deadlines job seekers should be aware.

Some jobs have mandatory hiring criteria that just must be met. For example, some jobs require employees to have a driver license, a car or some sort of certification. 

If the job you’re recruiting for has these types of criteria, it is important that those criteria find a place in your posting. Job seekers will know right away if they meet these requirements before applying.

5- Media

Media can a fun but effective way to attract the attention of qualified applicants. 

Media can be a fun but effective way to attract the attention of qualified applicants. Including media in your job postings can increase engagement and interest in your job postings. 

Consider using pictures to convey your message and company culture. When possible use pictures and videos of your employees doing the job advertised in the posting.

Media can give a jobseeker a better feel about what it will be like working for your company.

 

The ultimate goal of a job posting is to get as many qualified job applicants to apply for your job as possible. 

By including the right information in your job posting, you can not only increase the number of applicants, but the number of those applicants who are actually a good fit for the job. 

By implementing these suggestions, you’ll save time screening and interviewing applicants who can’t work your job and get to hiring the right candidate faster.

 

ABOUT JACKSONVILLE WORKS,LLC

We are a locally owned and operated community job board. Our mission is to connect locally owned businesses in our community with the talent they need to thrive. We accomplish this goal by offering affordable job postings and support resources to businesses owners who keep our community working. We'd love to help you make your next great hire. Post your job today. Happy hiring!