A job listing can be like a dating profile – you outline what you’re looking for, but at the same time you need to position what you’re offering as appealing. You’ve got to entice the other party to register their interest, so you can begin your courtship. In order to attract the best candidates, you need to make a good impression, and ensure that your job listing covers a few key aspects.
Whether they’re searching online or they’re browsing their email, the heading is typically the aspect that captures a candidate’s attention. Your heading needs to be search-engine-optimized, succinct, and unique. To ensure that your listing shows up in their searches, make sure your heading includes terms or the specific job title that your ideal candidate will likely be searching. Don’t let it get too long and wordy – keep it short and to the point so that suitability can be assessed quickly. If there is a high volume of similar openings on the market, consider how you can apply a point of differentiation compared to the other listings, perhaps using different adjectives or synonyms where appropriate.
The body of the job listing is where you’ll be selling the position to entice the candidate to apply, while simultaneously outlining the prerequisites that your ideal candidate should fulfill. This is another area where you’ll want to keep your text concise. Job descriptions of 700-2000 words have been found to receive 30% more applications, so aim for that length if you want a bigger pool of applicants to choose from. Tone is highly important here as well; keep in mind that you’re selling the job to the applicant and showing them why it’s a job they should want. Consider what the ideal candidate would be looking for in a position, whether it be a challenge, a fun work environment, or a lot of independent thinking, and highlight those areas of the position to make them prominent.
Lastly, consider the prerequisites you’re looking for, and consider the balance between having strict enough prerequisites and a high volume of applications. If you don’t adequately outline the requirements a candidate must meet, you’ll spend a lot more time sifting through resumes to find the ones who can successfully do the job. However, if you’re too strict in the requirements, and include some that would be ‘nice to have’ versus imperative for performing the job well, candidates who may be perfect for the role may not apply because they don’t qualify for that one small ‘nice to have’ element, and your applicant pool may be smaller than ideal. Evaluate the list of requirements carefully to see if you need to make any changes in either direction to ensure your best chance of success in finding the right candidate for the job.
Crafting the right job listing can take time and experience, but as you repeat the processes and learn the nuances involved, you can find yourself receiving excellent applications for every opening you advertise.