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Writing a Job Posting

Employer Resource Guide

Constructing a Well-Written, Well-Placed Internet Job Posting

A successful internet job posting depends upon what is written, how it is composed it and where the final ad is placed. A well-placed job posting will yield a high volume of candidates, and a well written one will aid in narrowing the results to the genuinely qualified candidates. A poorly written ad may lead qualified prospects to skip over your opportunity because the basic information needed to peak their curiosity wasn’t included.

Parts of the Posting:

Title: The title should be informative and eye-catching, causing the candidate to read the ad and learn more. Use multiple words in the title of your ad to increase the odds of it appearing in the results when a candidate searches by title.

Location: Always list the location including city and state. Candidates everywhere will view your ad, so it is a good idea to include the closest major city, if the location is in an unknown small town.

Skills: Use as many descriptive words as possible to increase the chances that your ad appears in a candidates search results. Differentiate between required skills (those that are needed to be considered) and desirable/preferred skills (those that are nice to have). Skills are more readable in a bulleted list.

Job description: Provide enough information to give a clear accurate picture (responsibilities, scope and role of the position). The job description should inform and convince the candidate to apply. It should also touch upon how the candidate can develop and advance in the position.

Experience Required: Clarity helps the candidate decide whether to apply, but don’t pack the ad with a lengthy list of requirements, academics, or duties. Long lists may be intimidating, and can exclude even the best candidate from applying.

Work Status: State the status you require of your employees. Do they need to be United States Citizens, or are you willing to hire employees with green cards? Will you assist the right candidate in obtaining a HB-1 Visa?

Contact Information: Provide more than one option for interested candidates to apply: e-mail, phone, fax, or mailing address.

Job ID: For each ad you post use a unique tracking ID#. This will allow you to know which site generated the application, and will provide you with valuable information about which sites yield the best responses.

Some Tips for writing an effective job advertisement:

  • Keep it organized and clear – Avoid lengthy paragraphs, and don’t mix topics such as skills, contact information, and requirements. Instead, use sub headings, bullets, and different font to clearly communicate your message.
  • It is okay to modify the job title – It is not necessary to use the exact internal job title. Especially if that title is vague or outdated. Create a descriptive title that conveys what you are looking for. Consider linking the title to a hook, which is an attention grabbing word or phrase that compels the reader to view the rest of the ad. For example –Accountant needed for GROWING company. Administrative Assistant, NO WEEKENDS!

  • Avoid asking for a specific number of year’s experience – potentially qualified candidates might decide not to apply.

  • Showcase benefits – No need to outline the complete benefit package, but provide enough so that candidates won’t pass up the opportunity.
  • Provide concise contact information – be clear on how, when and where you wish to be contacted. A prospect won’t likely persist if it is difficult to apply for the position.

  • Think like a candidate – When writing your ad keep in mind that candidates will find your ad using a search engine. What words would they use to search? Be sure to include these words in your ad, using multiple words that mean the same thing, so that you cover all the bases.

  • Think of your perfect candidate: If they had the perfect personality, work ethic and background, which skills are necessary? If personality-fit is more important, think of language that will attract that kind of personality.

  • Choose multiple options when posting – Post your ad to your company’s website. Post to three or four popular online employment sites that generate high traffic. Also, post your ad to a “mega site” that will distribute your ad to other employment sites increasing the exposure of your posting.

  • Leave the posting up for at least 30-45 days – and modify the posting if necessary. On many of the major job sites, the most recently written (or updated) postings appear first in the list of results. Making a few simply changes to “refresh” your posting will improve your placement in a candidate’s search results.
  • Qualify candidates – close the ad by asking the candidate to submit a one-page summary of their greatest accomplishment. This is a unique way to filter candidates. The quality of the accomplishment is more indicative of success than a degree and experience may be.

Content Counts! What Candidates Look for in a Job Description:

Company Overview, Location, Position Description, Required Capabilities, Relocation, Community Information, Opportunities for Promotion, Work/Life Balance, Legal Information, Branding, Salary, Education Requirements, Preferred Skills, Travel, Benefits, Training Availability, Awards Won, Links to Similar Jobs

These factors determine whether an ad is applied to or simply viewed.

Quick Facts to Consider:

  • Studies have shown that online job searching activity rises at the end of quarter one and quarter two, as well as in August. (Note: increases in activity be occupational dependent as well).
  • Over 35% of U.S. job seekers have an actively running online job search notification. 97% of these job seekers receive an alert at least once a week.
  • Since the majority of online job searches are conducted on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, posting an ad early in the week will allow maximum exposure to candidates actively searching to make a change.
  • Job title, bolding, location on page and the first 200 characters of the posting influence whether or not the candidate views your ad.
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