How to Write the Worst Job Post Ever
Will Zimmerman | HR| By
There are a lot of articles out there about how to write a great job post and that’s great. But when writing this post, I thought it would be interesting to try something a little (a lot) different.
Perhaps, if you saw what a really awful post looks like, you might understand the importance of improving and optimizing your job ads! Or maybe, you just have some money burning a hole in your pocket you want to waste on a job ad!
How to Write the Worst Job Post Ever
Either way, I won’t keep you waiting, let me show you how to write a really bad ad for a hypothetical restaurant server position.
Ruining the Title
We can all agree that the title is probably the most important element of a job ad. If it stands out in a good way, it will get a lot of clicks, if it stands out in the wrong way, it won’t.
Let’s go with “Hiring one server must be available overtime + weekends. 5 yrs experience req’d.”
That ought to scare them off before they realize it could still be a good job!
This will ensure that they click on jobs that seem more attractive and don’t put all the negatives up front.
Make It Really Hard to Apply
Applicants don’t have a lot of time and usually want to apply to as many good positions as they can as quickly as possible so that they can get a job, fast. So if we make it really hard to apply, they probably will pick easier jobs.
We could simply not provide instructions, but this is what most hiring managers do so we may still get one or two resumes from persistent applicants. Let’s try this instead:
“Please submit your resume, a cover letter and at least 10 references. Please submit it to our complicated applicant tracking system which will require you to click this link, create an account and submit a few pages of information.”
We are aware that the majority of job seekers skim advertisements before considering whether it would be worthwhile to apply and learn more in an interview.
As a result, we’ll make our ad as difficult to scan as we can, much like many recruiting managers. That will force people to leave our advertisement and look for something they can read fast and easily.
We can accomplish this by including all the typical requirements and obligations while condensing them into a single, enormous block of text. Additionally, we’ll use poor punctuation to demonstrate our professionalism and sincerity.
BONUS POINTS: Let’s also provide a ton of unrelated details, such as credentials that are largely superfluous or duties that are almost ever fulfilled. Include the qualification that you must possess if you are a server: If the restaurant catches fire, the ability to carry a 50-pound pail of water is a must!
Put this in the block!
Never Tell Them How Cool Your Culture Is
We know that culture is a big thing that can set identical jobs apart from each other and attract more applicants. We need to be careful here, if we get too carried away, our culture could actually look…fun. We do not want this. Bad.
The key here is to either not include a culture section at all. That way they think your company simply doesn’t have a culture, that’ll scare them off.
But even more fun, include a culture description that is as bland as possible. We’ll try this for now:
“XYZ restaurant has a great culture. We are an Italian restaurant and we have a lot of experienced restaurant staff working here. We are dedicated to serving our customers. This is our culture, you’ll love it.”
Any applicant who reads that and is considering spending a lot of time at your business will certainly think twice before applying to a place with no culture.
The Faster Way
Applicants are always looking for a position that stands out and that they want to be hired for. What we’ve done above is a great way to write an awful post, if I may say so myself, but, it does take time to do right (or wrong depending on how you look at it).
If you don’t have the time to perfectly craft a terrible ad, simply go on the internet and find a vaguely related job posting template.
Just paste that right in and post. Don’t worry about customizing it, that’s what people who actually want applicants do!
Boom, quick and extremely mediocre job posting!
If you’ve got some extra money burning a hole in your pocket and want to spend it on job ads, simply follow these steps and you’re sure to succeed at getting 0 applicants and making your hiring process way more expensive!
Thanks for following along and hopefully you never actually use these tips.
Peter Weddle says
Great article, Will. May we re-publish it on Jobboarders.com with full attriitution and a link back to Blogging4Jobs?
Shoot me an email at Will@proven.com!
Peter Clayton says
The way I see it, most job postings are like venereal diseases — the just keep infecting people and spreading.
With large companies, they tend to be based on a standard template for (req# XuD) written ten years ago.
If the req is for a highly technical position, it’s a crap shoot if anyone involved in writing the job description actually understands the requirements/certifications, and experience needed.
Then a group of HR managers, Recruiters, and maybe a hiring manager — get together and tweak this turd. (The hiring manager might add a few new “nice to haves” to the requirements if she/he is paying attention).
Next, a pass through legal. Now we have something truly designed to obfuscate.
Finally a group of hapless, desperate job seekers, thinking they might actually meet some/most of the job’s requirements, confront the ATS. Good luck with that.
JM Auron says
As a professional IT resume writer – and former headhunter – I’ve seen a lot of job descriptions in my career.
I can remember the good ones. Because they’re mighty rare.
My biggest frustration – among many – is the unnecessary qualifications. This is a (slight) exaggeration – but I’m sure you know what I mean.
“Strategic, Business focused CIO with proven ability to lead global teams of 250+ and manage $40M+ budgets – with ability to code in Java, C#, .net, COBAL, FORTRAN, and lay cable.”
I have clients who see those – and don’t apply. Because they actually think that they’re going to have code. Which means that some great candidates self select out…