How to Write the Perfect Job Listing

Perfect Job Listing

Great candidates are searching right now for the perfect position. While they are greeted with volumes of listings, few stand out in the clutter of boring, cumbersome ads. If you are trying to make your job compelling and targeted towards the right applicants, you already have a leg up on the competition. To attract the right candidates, take care with your language and remember a job ad is an advertisement for your company.

Start With a Compelling Intro

Speak directly to your candidates in the introduction. In the space of a sentence or two, identify why the company needs them, why they should choose you or the problem their position is designed to solve. An advertisement for a non-profit that provides services to those living outside might start, “We need you to help us find people homes.” By making your introduction compelling, you already stand out from the reams of ads that read like HR manuals. Here’s a great example, “Our engineers build systems that catch bad guys.” Check out the rest of the job description here.

Promote Your Company Culture

To further avoid sounding like your job is just another part of a weighed-down bureaucracy, lighten up on the criteria. You can always choose the more appropriate candidates upon review of their resumes. But the ad should attract top talent, and that talent won’t always fit in a specific box. They may also be turned off by a detailed job description that sounds unappealing. They will skim, however, a quick list of essential criteria that not only defines the desired candidate but describes the company culture.

Using words like “passion” and “creativity” alongside specific duties can pique the interest of those who think their extraordinary talents will be used and valued. For example, the non-profit building homes could list criteria such as, “Social work graduate committed to improving the lives of the disenfranchised,” or “IT professional who enjoys Friday lunches with coworkers.” This is also an excellent away to be honest about some of the job’s potential drawbacks, by using phrases such as, “Self-starter who can answer 100 emails before noon.”

You can also opt to provide a “day in the life” description of the position. Telling a story this way will make the ad fun to read and give candidates an opportunity to self-check whether they really want to apply. It’s another way to ensure you’ll not only get serious, but appropriate, candidates.

Use the Right Language

Part of creating the perfect job listing is expressing your company’s commitment to welcoming diversity. It’s easy enough to state that you welcome individuals from all communities to apply. But in order to prevent unintended bias in your job posting, check your text in a platform such as Textio before it’s finalized. You might be surprised by the effect some of your words may have: The phrase “rock star” to refer to a candidate, for example, tends to attract more male applicants.  If you want to see a good example of the wrong language, check out this jargon filled honesty on a spoof of a job description.

It may sound like a lot of effort to put into a job posting, but this type of ad is designed to help you find the individual who will be doing important work with your company. Any recruitment effort is, at its root, a team development exercise and an investment in your company’s future growth. With a little bit of extra care, you can find the right match.

Tell the Story of Your Team

Remote job seekers are unique individuals. They are drawn to teams made up of other unique, friendly people who are on a mission to change the world at whatever scale they operate at. Make sure your job ad tells the story of what applicants can expect to do for your customers or clients.

Selling a job is a lot like selling a house. Give them a glimpse into the role and they’ll picture themselves filling it with their unique thumbprint of skills, personality, and perspective.

Present your mission effectively, outlining who the company serves, what they offer, and how the job seeker can expect to interact with the team. By telling your brand’s story, applicants become more invested in your particular opportunity than others who merely skim the surface and offer a very technical, boring list of requirements and “perks.”

Keep Your Eyes on the Result

The final result of your recruitment search should be finding the right person to fill your position. The job listing is the first stage in this process. You want to draw in as many eyes as possible to your ad without overwhelming your human resources team with a stack of resumes from ill-suited applicants. You should draw attention but put checks in the ad to weed out the people you would never hire. An easy way to do this is to simply list basic criteria, such as work authorization or required educational credential.