Wanting to know how to create a great job posting? You’re not alone. A well-crafted job posting could be the difference between attracting average talent or attracting the best.
When creating a job description for your job posting you want to avoid the cookie-cutter approach which can be difficult as a busy hiring manager but remember a job posting is often the first introduction to your company for a potential employee.
It’s important to sell your opportunity in a unique and engaging way that makes your job stand out from the thousands of boring job descriptions posted on job boards daily.
With that in mind, we will go over the steps on how to write a great job posting.
What is a job posting?
Job postings are a way for employers to recruit job seekers by advertising their open positions. Originally posted in newspapers, companies now list job postings on job boards, company career sites, and staffing agency websites.
When writing a job posting think about these questions
- What created the need for this position? Why is it open?
- How will this position interact and support other positions within the company?
- Have any requirements for the position changed over the years?
- What type of personality usually succeeds in this role?
- What does it take to be successful in this role?
- What are skills are must-haves and what skills are nice to have but not required?
- Is there an opportunity for growth in this role?
- Does your company offer any perks or benefits that stand out?
- Is your company involved in any charitable activities outside the office?
- What is the biggest selling point of your job opportunity?
- How does your compensation package compare to other competitors in the area?
- What is the best way to attract candidates to your position?
Tips for writing a great job posting
When writing a job description, each section of the job post should be tailored with a specific goal in mind to create an effective job posting that will attract the best talent. With that understanding, we list some of our best tips broken down by section for writing effective job postings.
Perform a thorough job analysis
Review your current internal compensation structure and compare it to the current market. Research competitor job descriptions, compensation, and job titles to get a thorough understanding of what you’re up against.
Depending on what industry you’re in you will find competitor job postings on job search websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder or Monster.
Does your current compensation match the market? Or will you need to adjust it to match your competitors? When reviewing competitor job descriptions take some of their best ideas and incorporate them into your own job postings.
Keep the job posting in the 300-700 word range
According to Textio their data shows, the optimal length of an effective job posting is around 300-700 words. In our experience as technical recruiters, longer job postings ten to attract fewer candidates.
A job title must be clear, direct, and specific
Be clear, concise, and to the point don’t over-inflate the job title, making it seem more than it is. Avoid cliche phrases such as “superstar engineer” or “top-notch programmer” also stay away from general titles such as “engineer” or “designer”.
As technical recruiters, we have posted thousands of job openings and in our experience candidates often apply based on the job title alone and don’t even read the job description. The wrong title could cost you time and money.
Be specific with your titles such as “.NET software developer”, or “SolidWorks Mechanical designer”, and hopefully decrease the number of unqualified applicants that miss the mark.
Describe the job opportunity
Write the job description in a way that helps candidates visualize a typical day at the office. For example, if your job opening is for a SolidWorks Mechanical designer you wouldn’t want to say something generic-sounding such as “looking for a designer to mechanical parts for equipment”
“You will design conveyor equipment using SolidWorks CAD software from materials such as sheet metal and steel, creating drawings from scratch for bearings, feed chutes, pulleys, belt drive systems, slider beds, and idlers. You will also create a bill of materials, developing shop drawings for fabrication, and interacting with clients on job sites 10% of the time.”
Sell the job opportunity
Job seekers exploring new career opportunities need compelling reasons to choose your job posting over competing ones. Describe any perks, benefits, office comforts of the facility, or specialized equipment that candidates may get to use.
For example, if a company pays 100% of the medical benefits, offers catered lunches, are active volunteers in a community, or have purchased new high-end computer workstations list it. Have an amazing office with a perfect view? Make sure to mention it.
Certain types of benefits are more important to some rather than others, and vice versa.
Sell the company vision and culture
Your job posting is your first opportunity to showcase your company to potential employees. Consider links to reviews about your company, testimonials, or pictures on your Facebook and Glassdoor pages if you have them.
If you want to be creative, you could even design a landing page on your company website describing the company’s vision and goals, showcasing your office environment, team pictures, fun events, and outings.
Adding a link to this page in your job description would give candidates a better understanding of your company. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Structure your job posting
Candidates conducting a job search may look at hundreds of job postings a week. Keep the job description at 4-6 paragraphs or fewer because in our experience too long of a job description turns off candidates reducing your number of applicants.
Introduction: 2-3 paragraphs describing your company, a summary of the position, and what makes the position attractive.
Pay range, benefits, and perks: As this heat map of a job description shows, putting pay and benefits near the top of the job description is vital if you expect the candidate to read to the bottom.
Duties and Responsibilities: Make bullet points straight to the point on each one. 5 to 10 ten bullet points is a good number to aim for, you’re not trying to write a book here.
Requirements/Qualifications: Again have bullet points, and put must-have requirements at the top, preferred requirements second, and nice to have requirements at the bottom.
Closing: 2-3 sentences max. You could describe your interview process here, your timeline for hiring applicants, and instructions for applying to the role.
Describe the application process.
Inform job seekers of the application process from start to finish. The shorter the interview process, the more likely you are to increase applicants. No candidate wants to have 4 interviews before receiving a job offer.
Have colleagues review the job posting
Have several people in the department review the position and give their honest feedback. They could find errors or make suggestions that help sell the opportunity.
Job Posting Sample Template
[Title of the job]
Intro and job overview: Provide a 2-3 max paragraph description of the company, the role, what it takes to excel in the role, and how the opportunity fits in the company and structure of the team.
Benefits and pay range:
- Benefits such as health, vacation, holidays, and special working hours etc.
Responsibilities and Duties:
- Use bullet points and list the essential duties of the role.
- List the duties in order of importance
- Use present tense and full sentences
- Make sure and use gender-neutral language.
Requirements and Qualifications:
- Educational requirements
- Years of experience required
- Years of experience needed with specific skills.
- Personality characteristics that usually excel in the role
- Any necessary certifications
- List any physical abilities needed such as lifting 50 pounds, etc.
- Preferred qualifications
- Qualifications that would be a plus
Closing and application instructions:
Explain the timeline for hiring and the application process.
How to include salary in job postings
While is your choice on whether to include a salary range in your job description on a job posting service. One of the largest job posting services Zip Recruiter suggests you will receive more applicants listing a salary range.
You can state exactly what the position pays
If you have no leeway in the salary range, this may be the best option
You can be vague about the pay range
For example, you could say “salary commensurate with experience” or “Generous compensation based on industry standards.”
Give a broad salary range
Often this the best approach as you do not lock yourself into one number, giving you wiggle room to negotiate with a candidate.
Where should you post your job ad?
Several factors will go into determining this. What is your industry?, What type of position is it?, How soon do you need someone? Check out our list of the 42 top job search websites to determine which works best for your opportunity.
JOB POSTING VS JOB Description
While similar a job posting and job description are not the same. Job postings are created to attract job seekers through advertisements on job boards. A job description is a document created for internal use stating the duties, responsibilities and working conditions of the job.
What Is a Job Description?
A job description is a document that states the job requirements, skills, job responsibilities, and duties required to perform a specific role. It usually includes company details such as mission and culture, salary range, and benefits.
What is the purpose of a job description?
- Can be used as a starting point for a job posting
- Stating a job summary
- Listing the benefits of a job
- Listing the duties and responsibilities of a job
- Stating the qualifications needed for a job
Why Do You Need a Job Description?
Clear and concise job descriptions define what the job role is, the skills necessary for the role, and its fit in the overall structure of an organization. A job description is important to stay compliant with federal and state labor and employment laws.
Job descriptions help hold employees accountable making sure they perform the functions stated. They also use it in creating job postings on job boards.
Hopefully, this helps when you’re creating that next brilliant job ad while aiming for that perfect job posting.