Great job postings start with great intel. It makes writing a great job posting not so scary.
*Rimshot* Here’s what I mean.
I was recently on a kickoff call for a new writing client. I am creating new job postings for this department, and I was meeting with the team to learn more about each role.
Before those kickoff calls, I ask recruiters to tell me everything they know and share current postings. I dissect the content to try and understand what’s most essential and what questions I should ask.
One of my favorite questions for hiring managers is simple. “If I brought you a resume without this skill, you would laugh in my face. What is that experience?”
This question usually makes the hiring manager laugh, for one thing. They’ve been here before. They know we recruiters don’t really understand what they even do. But more importantly, it makes the hiring manager answer the damn question. What is the most important? That’s not always so obvious when you’re asking for years of experience and lists of abilities.
In this meeting, the hiring manager rattled off some code language, and there was this awkward moment of silence, then a laugh. “That code is not even on this job posting,” said the recruiter.
Let’s just say I’m glad the hiring manager has a sense of humor. If I were in their shoes, my reaction would have been a lot scarier.
We compensate for lack of knowledge with creativity in job postings.
I see three things happen when a recruiter is writing a job posting without enough information.
- The post is way too long because they copy and paste from 12 templates or write down every single possible thing they heard in the intake conversation.
- They cross the creative/creepy line and say things that are really awkward or weird.
- They say a lot, but still say nothing at all.
I find myself thinking, “seriously, did no one read this before it was posted?” Especially when it comes to job posts.
6 of the Scariest Job Postings
What’s really scary is that anyone believes this passes for content in the first place.
The sheer volume of these I am sent every week is pretty frightening, too.
Of course, you can learn all about how to write a better posting here, but that’s not what this is all about. We’re here for the fright factor.
So, without further ado, I present the worst job postings I’ve ever seen… with a little snarky commentary from me, of course.
This is my millennial costume. Trophy, please?
*Order Now* One Adult Men’s Captain Obvious costume in an XL.
Is there a spell required to apply to the House of Incompetence? What ATS do they use?
Uhhh… I’m a couch potato.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.