A Job Posting is Like a Chocolate Bar
A Job Posting is Like a Chocolate Bar

Techniques for writing irresistible recruitment advertising

A Job Posting is Like a Chocolate BarYou're standing in line at the grocery store, and there it is--a delicious, tempting chocolate bar! You weren't planning to buy one, but it looks too good to resist. One minute later, and that chocolate bar is heading across the scanner.

So why did you buy it? Was it an emotional response? Did the wrapper pique your curiosity? Whatever the reason, something about the way that product was marketed created a strong attraction in you--strong enough to make you act.

A job posting is a lot like that chocolate bar. Your challenge is finding ways to make sure the announcements you write create a strong attraction for the candidates you seek--strong enough to make them act, even if they aren't actively seeking a new job. This article contains some great tips for creating compelling job postings that are irresistible magnets for talent.

Tell a story to stir emotions.

As humans, we're always drawn to stories over statistics. Why? Stories arouse our emotions. They appeal to our sense of compassion and to our need for connection. So rather than beginning your posting with dry job requirements, attract potential candidates with a lead statement that appeals to their emotions.

Having trouble generating ideas? Think of the ways your company's products or services impact the lives of your customers, or draw from client testimonials. Focus on the way your business makes people feel, and use this to create a compelling image of your company and the available position.

Approach the posting from the job seeker's perspective.

Most job seekers think in terms of available positions--not potential employers. Likewise, top candidates are more interested in what a position offers them personally--high earning potential, intellectual challenge, recognition, etc.--than in your company's business strategy. Ensure your job posting addresses these needs by first highlighting the rewards of the position. Once the candidate is interested in the position, they will naturally want to learn more about your company.

Highlight your company's strengths.

Everyone wants to work for a successful organization. So to attract the best and brightest, a job posting should convey your company's strengths. Put your organization's best foot forward by identifying and emphasizing strengths in areas such as these:
  • Organizational growth
  • Industry track record
  • Competitive advantages of your products/services
  • Positive corporate culture
  • Financial stability
  • Awards and/or recognition

Convey a sense of optimism.

Like it or not, potential candidates are quick to form judgments about your company based on the tone of your listing. Make sure you set an optimistic tone by using positive language to turn downsides into opportunities: a decline in profits signals a need for innovation; a faulty product requires research, development and continuous improvement; an inaccurate public statement fuels a new commitment to getting the facts right.

Keep it short.

Writing lengthy job postings with highly detailed lists of qualifications and responsibilities is a popular recruiting trend. Details are great, but nothing sends a passive job seeker running for the hills faster than a posting that drones on and on like Charlie Brown's teacher. Exercising a little restraint can go a long way toward maintaining a job seeker's interest. So as a general rule, limit job postings to two or three pages.

Avoid overused buzzwords and transparent euphemisms.

Sure, they can demonstrate that you're up on the latest jargon used in business press; but for the savvy job seeker, buzzwords do little to differentiate your company. Use them sparingly. Likewise, steer clear of inflating job titles--a coffee gopher is not a "Beverage Production Manager." These tactics, while tempting, will rob your company of both clout and credibility.

Enlist the help of your organization's writing talent.

When it comes right down to it, the job posting is a marketing piece. Improving the appeal of the message will attract higher quality candidates. So if you're not a Twain, Shakespeare or Grisham by nature, ask your marketing department for help. Provide them with the nuts and bolts of the job (as well as this article), and let them craft a compelling posting for you.

11 Quick Tips for Better Job Postings

Before you click the "Submit" button to upload your next job posting, consider the following:
  1. Make sure the title accurately describes the position.
  2. Provide a comprehensive list of skills and qualifications. Differentiate between those that are required, as opposed to desirable.
  3. To reduce the submission of unwanted résumés, be clear about: salary range; start date; years and type of experience necessary; essential certifications; and required tests and/or background checks.
  4. The Internet has created a global workforce. Make sure you supply details about where the job is located, and whether or not telecommuting is possible.
  5. Provide clear instructions for application. Give candidates multiple methods of applying. Be sure to list email address, fax number, mailing address and the contact person's name and job title.
  6. Include preferences or equal opportunity statements.
  7. When posting to multiple sites, assign unique job codes for tracking leads. This step will help you monitor the quantity and quality of leads coming from each site.
  8. Keep in mind that if you send an announcement to an email list or newsgroup, it will likely be picked up by any number of websites and forwarded, re-forwarded, etc.--and you will have no ability to control the accuracy or content of these listings.
  9. Don't use all caps in your online posting. It is the printed equivalent of YELLING. (See?)
  10. Copy and paste from a simple text editor, and avoid special codes or characters used in word processing software.
  11. Always, always proofread for content and check your spelling.


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