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What Should be Included in a Job Posting

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What Your Job Posting Must Contain?

Good job posting must include some essential elements in order to engage qualified candidates. We will describe here the most important components and how to attract your target candidates to apply for your post.

An engaging job title

The most obvious way to increase the number of people who see your ad is to create an engaging job title. Internally, the position may be known as "Grade 2 Global Communications Assistance Officer" but how many people are going to type that into the search box? If the type of people you want to attract is the type who would like to work as a PR Executive, then the job title should be "Public Relations Executive."

If you have access to a database of resumes, find the resumes of the people you would like to invite for an interview and use the "Desired Job Title" field as the basis for your advertisement. If that is what they want to work on, it's what they are most likely to seek.

Establish your structure

There is no set way to describe the position, but you should try to include the following elements:

  • Short introduction: Try to do it in about 40 words and talk about the job and not the company. This can help readers quickly assess whether the vacancy is right for them, cajoling them to keep reading.
  • Job Responsibilities: List 3-7 main tasks that the hired candidate will need to perform. Try to link them to a business objective if possible so that the candidate can see how their position fits into the company's plans. For example, "Develop an email marketing program to increase customer retention levels." Remember that your ad isn't a job description and therefore doesn't need to include all aspects of the position, just what is necessary for the right candidates to submit their resumes.
  • Person Specifications: What skills, qualifications or attributes are you looking for in your ideal candidate? Try to divide them between those necessary and those that would be an advantage. If you expect to get a high level of resumes you may be less specific with your requirements, but if you prefer a couple of high quality candidates then be very clear about the strict criteria they must meet. Candidates take this area at face value and you can dramatically affect response rates with a few well-chosen words.
  • Rewards: In addition to information on the potential salary, you should point out the additional key benefits they could get. What could make a candidate choose her position and not a similar one in the competition? The rewards don't have to be just financial, so think about what your company offers in terms of flexible work schedules, career opportunities, and childcare.
  • Location: In addition to filling in the "location" field when filling in the online form of the job offer, it would be better if you add more specific information about the location where the work takes place. Is it a new office? Are there good connections in terms of transport? Does work always take place in the office or does it involve some level of travel? The workplace is often as important as the position.
  • Your company: What is the activity of your company? If your business isn't well known, you'll need to explain the type of industry you are in. Instead of copying the "About Us" section of your website, try to link this section to the vacant position. So if it's a sales vacancy you can write "An important supplier to the textile industry with an aggressive expansion program to obtain clients outside of U.S.". But if it's an IT position you could say "A major supplier to the textile industry with a newly developed online ordering system built on a .NET framework." Don't make the mistake of providing too much information here, the candidate will do their own research for more information.
  • Next Steps: If the reader is interested in the vacancy, what are the next steps to take? There is an "Apply Now" button located on all Monster job postings but it would be appropriate to add an email or contact telephone number as well as a reference number so that you can follow up on the origin of the people who apply for the job. Is there any specific information you would like candidates to include in their cover letter? Now is the time to tell them.

Attract your audience

If you use the analogy that the job is your product and the candidates are the customers, you need to be convincing about why you are doing this (or taking the time to apply for the job). Candidates highly value your skills and experience, and if you want them to apply for the job, you'll need to attract candidates based on what they want and need in the same way that you would a client.

Think about when you go shopping. What products attract your attention? What products attract your target candidate? What can you learn from the advertising language they use and the way they are displayed?

Many job postings have been written with the assumption that the company is doing potential candidates a favor by inviting them to apply for their job. This attitude makes the audience reject you - if you aren't welcoming in your advertisements you cannot expect people to think that you'll provide a welcoming workplace.

Looking for a job is a job in itself so try to keep your job posting under 700 words. Overly convoluted job offers suggest a cramped work environment, while a jovial ad full of jokes will give the impression of unprofessionalism. Talk to people on the same level and in the second person, using "you" or "you" instead of "us."

For every job that you advertise, avoid the temptation to simply copy and paste the description you used the last time you ran a hiring campaign for the same position. Think about how responsibilities may have changed. You will want to employ human beings with their own personalities and attributes, rather than clones!

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