Writing a Killer Job Posting

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How to Write a Job Posting

A job posting, as you know by now, is more or less a summary of the job description. It is a synopsis that includes the key facts of a position. It also includes information regarding eligibility, responsibilities, and company culture.

A job posting aims to attract, inform, and engage potential candidates. While a job description may include similar information, a job posting should be your sales pitch. To hook the best talent possible, your job posting must be compelling and include your top selling points.

This brings us to the topic at hand – What is a job posting? How do you write one?

A job posting informs potential candidates about expected roles, responsibilities, and company culture. It paints a clear picture of why top talent would love working at your company. Writing a killer job posting is an art, but it is also a science.

The details about how to navigate your own job posting and make it into a killer ad are covered in the subsections below.

The Science Behind A Killer Job Posting

Great job postings share a common anatomy across all industries, which can be broadly divided into three elements: Your company, your job position, and your ideal talent.

Element One: Your Company – Treating content about your company as critical will help you create a winning job position.

Why? Because job positions are not written as short-form job descriptions. They are written like ads, because they’re ads.

Employers often commit the costly blunder of skimping on company information. They focus on only selling the job instead of selling the job with the company.

Have awards, accolades, notable mentions? Showcase them all!

Element Two: Your Job Position – This element summarizes the details of the job, including:

  • Job title
  • Job grade (if applicable)
  • Location
  • Travel requirements (if required)
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Required degrees, skills, or experience (be concise)
  • Key roles and responsibilities (no details)
  • Compensation and benefits package

You should find most of this information in your job description, but remember to change the wording and tailor the content! Do not copy and paste directly from the job description.

The job position should be crafted as a sales pitch. Do not make it too wordy or complex. Omit unnecessary details such as performance expectations, performance measurements, et cetera.

Element Three: Your Ideal Top Talent – To increase interest in a role, you must create content geared toward top talent. This element is where you briefly describe a day in the life of a successful candidate. This should focus on making candidates understand why they will love working with your organization specifically.

Each of these three elements must be included in your posting – Don’t overlook them.

The Art Behind A Killer Job Posting

The art of writing a killer job posting is all about striking the right balance between the three elements discussed above. To write a killer posting, each element needs to appear objective but act as a sales pitch. It needs to be subtle in its marketing, yet effective enough to sell the position.

Here are five tips for writing your own killer posting:

One – Dive in headfirst. It pays to start your posting with the most impressive fact about your company. To pull this off, you want to be as specific as possible.

For example,“We’re a fast-growing company that’s always hiring.” is not impressive.

Instead, say something along the lines of, “We’ve grown from five people to 45 in three short years. We aim to expand our headcount by 50 percent by the next year and are hiring…”

The basis of this strategy lies in providing tangible, verifiable proof that will attract top talent to your company. Opening remarks need to be strong and engaging, not weak or easy to dismiss. Give top talent a good reason to consider leaving their present employer for you.

Two – Use the right words. Since your focus is to attract top talent – not mediocre talent – your ads should play into that image. This includes using respectful words and phrases.

You should not address them as “job seekers.” You do not “want them to submit a resume.” Instead, you should address them as a “candidate.” You will “invite

to send in an application.”

Three – Make the ad functional. Killer job descriptions are equal parts aesthetic and function.

Good aesthetics will make a job posting more readable and user-friendly. Ensure that your posting looks clean, not cluttered, and that it flows in a logical order. Make vital information easy to find with the help of appropriate formatting.

Functionally, the beginning of your “advertisement” is extremely valuable and should be written with care. Within the first 100 words, include any keywords that may be relevant to your position’s title, location, company, and industry. If possible, also include related keywords and long-tail search phrases. Putting appropriate keywords at the beginning of your posting will increase the chances of top talent discovering your open position.

Four – Have employees sell it for you. Employee testimonials are powerful. If used correctly, testimonials can help drive top talent into making a transition.

To use testimonials to your advantage, add a few one- to two-line comments from recent hires in the same or similar job roles. Including remarks from recent hires in other departments may also be a good idea.

Five – Be specific about the next step. Do you want top candidates to click through to your website? Would you prefer they send you an e-mail? Should they call you?

Don’t keep top talent guessing. Tell them exactly what you want them to do and, if they’re impressed enough, they will do it! Every good advertisement requires a clear call to action.

As a last remark, remember to have some fun writing the job posting. The best and brightest talent – no matter how serious their work or role may be – have fun. They enjoy working and are likely to feel attracted to companies that share the same vibe. If you need inspiration, here’s a quick list of some witty and creative job ads.

Candidate Personas for a Job Position

A candidate persona is a fictional representation of your ideal hire for a particular position. Creating a persona can help you identify behaviors and issues in candidates’ professional or personal lives that may impact their performance. It can also help you understand what interests and pushes potential hires.

Some questions you can ask when building a candidate persona include:

  • What are they looking for in an employer?
  • What motivates them?
  • What are their interests and hobbies?
  • What are their long-term professional and personal goals?
  • What point in their life-stage do they currently find themselves in?
  • What kind of work-life balance best suits their situation?

There are many ways to create a candidate persona. Surveys are a great option, as are apps such as QZZR or Survey Monkey. With surveys, you can tap into your personal and professional network to gather data.

Social media can be a great resource, so don’t forget to post your survey on Facebook and Twitter. Gathering information from friends and family may also be helpful.

Finally, remember that federal and state laws forbid discrimination in every phase of the employment relationship. Be sure that your job description does not include discriminatory language.

Chapter 6 – How to Find Qualifed Job Applicants >

Additional Resources on How to Write a Job Posting: