7 things to include in your job postings (and 2 to leave out)

Pete Jansons

When you have a position to fill, your staff feels it. So finding and hiring the right people – fast – is essential to your businesses’ success.

Smart employers know their job posting plays an important role in their ability to attract top talent. If your job posting doesn’t compel job seekers to apply, your time to hire will deteriorate, and so will your results.

But job postings can be trickier to create than you might realize. It’s often the first impression a job seeker has of your company, so it has to pop. But how? Here are seven things to include in your job posting to ensure it gets attention from the right candidates, and two things it's better to leave out.


What to include in your job postings

  1. A relevant job title: In other words, a job title that job seekers actually search for. A lot of companies have unique job titles that fall outside the industry norm. Even if you want to use a catchy job title to garner intrigue, you’re better off using traditional terminology candidates are actually searching for. That increases the chances your posting will be seen by more job seekers via online job boards or search engines.
  2. Keywords: It’s also important to include commonly searched keywords (and phrases) throughout your job posting. These are common words job seekers use to search for jobs they want. Using relevant keywords increases the chances of your job showing up in job seekers’ search results. It's a good idea to include industry-specific words and terms that are relevant to the position as well as alternate job titles that could describe the same position. For example, including both “sales rep” and “account executive,” “digital marketer” and “online marketer,” or “marketing coordinator” and “marketing specialist.”
  3. The “About Us” section: Candidates want to know what they’re in for, so be sure to include one or two sentences about your company. In addition to telling job seekers what your company does, talk about its mission, values and the corporate culture. Include any awards or recognition your company has received and why employees love working for you.
  4. Specific job responsibilities: A good job ad outlines exactly what the position requires and tells candidates what skill set they should have. This will enable unqualified candidates to weed themselves out.
  5. Pay info: Candidates are more likely to apply for a position when salary information is included in the job posting. Additionally, including salary information (or a salary range) will keep job seekers who aren't satisfied with that salary from wasting your time or theirs applying.
  6. Benefits: Tell job seekers what’s in it for them. In addition to listing standard benefits like health insurance and 401(k), include any perks that make your company stand out. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that extra perks make job seekers more likely to join a company, so think about the intangible benefits as well - such as good work-life balance, challenging work and the ability to make a difference.
  7. Location, location, location: Location can be a deal-breaker for a lot of candidates, so be sure to let them know where the job is located right away. If, however, you are willing to let them work remotely or offer work from home days, be sure to mention that transparently as well, as that could sway their decision.

What to leave out of your job postings

  1. Information overload: Give job seekers the information they need to know, but don’t go overboard with minutiae. The more information you provide, the longer the job posting and the less likely job seekers are to read the entire thing. When creating your job posting, try to differentiate between what job seekers absolutely need to know and what you can safely leave out.
  2. False promises: Don’t oversell the opportunity and make the job (or your company) out to be something it isn’t for the sake of attracting more applicants. The tactic may succeed at first, but in the end it will only succeed in attracting the wrong type of applicant.

Bonus tip: don’t forget about formatting

People tend to skim job postings, so format yours in a way that makes it easier for people to read and digest the information. For instance, break up your posting into smaller sections with bold subheadings. Or use bullets to list out sections like responsibilities and qualifications. The easier it is for job seekers to read your job posting, the more likely they are to stick with it and respond to it. As a result, you’ll get candidates who are better qualified and a better fit for your business.


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