OMG! Not Another Sucky Job Postings

While Zappos recently announced the company is doing away with job postings, most companies are still writing them. And, writing them rather poorly.  Sucky job postings amaze me, considering they are often the first thing that job seekers read about an organization, and we spend so much money advertising them.

If your recruiters are terrible writers, consider reaching out to your Communications or Public Relations team for help. Ask one of your new college hires who majored in English and really wants to use his degree to edit them. There’s really no excuse anymore.

7 Tips for Improving Your Job Postings

  1. Never abbreviate the word Analyst. Trust me on this one.
  2. Think outside of your internal titles when posting externally.
  3. Spell out keywords. Do you really think people are looking for Mgr jobs?
  4. Put spaces before and after punctuation when using slashes ( / ) and hyphens ( – ) in job titles.
  5. Use bullet points and appropriate spacing. Job seekers scan postings like recruiters scan resumes.
  6. Keep your verbs in the present tense.
  7. Take your time, read it aloud and ask someone else to read over it, too.

Make the Posting about the Candidate

One goal of your postings should be to grab the job seekers’ attention from the very beginning. Drawing them into your content will encourage them to read more about the opportunity and your company. How can you make your job posting compelling, yet realistic?

Additionally, job seekers want to know what they’ll do on a daily basis. Describe the role so that someone can picture themselves doing it. Try using phrases such as:

  1. In this position, you will …
  2. You’re responsible for …
  3. A typical day for you will include …

Don’t Forget the WIIFM

Often times, recruiters will complain about getting too many unqualified candidates. But when you look at their job postings, it’s no wonder. HR hasn’t given the job seeker enough information, so they figure why not give it a shot! Do your postings include:

  • Salary range?
  • Bonus potential?
  • Experience level?
  • Schedule / shift details?
  • Start dates, if applicable?
  • Benefits overview?
  • Qualifications?
  • Link to video detailing the role?

Attract & Repel with Words

A well written job description, to me, should attract candidates just as much as repel them. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal candidate. Now, what is it that you’d want to know about the opportunity that would make you apply? That’s where to start. Not with your internal mumbo-jumbo job descriptions that read like academic text from the 80s.

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Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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