The typical job posting is usually an anti-talent mess of bullet points that do nothing to sell the job. When a candidate reads a job ad they should be saying to themselves "this is a company I’d want to work for." Too many job postings just list the requirements instead of convincing them why they should work there.
The more boring your job posting is, the more you attract lower quality candidates. Here are several ways to tweak your job to make it appealing to high quality, passive candidates who otherwise might not consider you.
Who Is Your Firm?
Candidates need to know who your firm is and what they do. Leave out phrases like "we are a leading manufacturer of products for X industry." Tell job seekers why they should care. Give them a vision to believe in.
Don’t Talk Down to Them
Don’t write like a robot. Get rid of phrases like "You will perform tasks and duties blah, blah, blah." That kind of language should be for internal use only. Otherwise it will only repel candidates.
Instead of phrases the "the successful candidate" just be direct. "You will lead a team of…" "Your communication skills will require..." "You should be familiar with…" Use the word "You" and talk to them one-to-one.
Tell a Story
You don’t always need to bullet point your job ads. Why not tell a story of who, what, and why? Who is the successful candidate? What will they do? Why is the job open? Storify your job like this;
"We just received a new contract to make widgets for a new client and our business is about to take off. We need to hire smart, dedicated line workers to help us assemble, pack and ship our products to customers all across the country. If you love great benefits, a stable work environment, and want to work with great people then we’d love for you to apply today."
Who’s the Boss
Tell people who’ll they will be reporting to and what part of the organization they will work with. Lets see more of "you will be reporting to the manager of X" inside job postings. The smart job seeker will then be able to research who they might be working for which is a critical factor in their decision making process.
What makes this job fun or interesting? You have got to be able to explain this differentiation to the average job seeker. Your unique selling proposition must convey something that will appeal to your ideal candidate. Spell it out for them.
This may not be an option for larger firms but small companies should not be afraid to list an email address that goes right to the hiring manager. An email address should increase the number of applies and make your process more transparent. In the apply instructions you could even ask candidates to tell you why they are right for the job in 350 words or less. You just might be surprised by the results.
Your job ads don’t have to be like everyone else’s. If you make them different, you will stand out in a sea of jobs that all sound the same. Find what makes your jobs unique and put a positive spin on them to attract the candidates you want.