Job Postings That Work (And Some That Don’t)

Most people are not confident when it comes to writing job postings. It’s even rare in recruiting. That’s probably why recruiters regularly ask me, “Is this job post any good?” They’re not sure, and since I’m the go-to job writer, they want my 2-second review. There’s usually some line about “just tell me what you think” in there, too.

Confession: I can’t help you when you send emails like that. Context and clarity are what make a job posting good, and I have neither when you send me a word doc and a compliment in hopes I’ll “take a look.”

It turns out accuracy is a big deal.

What Do Job Posts That Work Look Like?

Regardless, I make some stuff up to be helpful (kidding).

I look for a few things every time, even if I don’t have the hiring manager intake in front of me.

  1. How long is your job post? I want to see a post somewhere between 250 and 500 words. If it’s any longer than that, someone got a little “About Us” or requirement happy, aka they said a lot without saying anything at all.
  2. Does this list years of experience or daily activities? Do I know what experiences would qualify someone for this job? If you’re posting random years of experience, all you’re doing is quantifying candidates, not qualifying anyone.
  3. Are the requirements mandatory? Do you list things like driving a car when it’s not required? Do you need that degree? Reconsider if this is bias or what’s best for the role.
  4. Is the job title researched or just recycled from the other jobs? Just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean you should continue.

Job Postings That Work

Now, it’s only fair that if I’m going to talk to you about what makes a good job posting, I show you a few good examples. No, I don’t have many templates for you because I want you to write better job postings.

Instead, I’ve included a few phrases and approaches I know work for certain types of job postings.

  • Good: You’re looking for the next step in your sales career. You’ve been there, done that – BDR, SDR, Account Executive – and you’ve grown out of your current role. Now, you’re looking to manage a full-sales cycle and truly own your territory development.
    • Why It’s Good: Explicit about history and future.
  • Good: When you’re considering a new job, it’s normal to have a ton of questions. Here are a few things we’re asked about all the time.
    • Why It’s Good: No requirements? No problem. Be helpful. Tell them about benefits, the commute, or what makes the team special.
  • Good: Nurse Job Post Example
    • Why it’s good: I wrote it, and it’s free. Do I need to say anything else? Get a copy here.

Of course, if you want to see a few thousand bad examples, Google any word. I mean any word and the words job posting. Here are a few more ridiculous tests of my theory.

I searched “purple” on Indeed in Denver, CO.

  • Bad: This manager will work in a dynamic environment that is fast-paced and not boring.
    • Why it’s terrible: What the hell does dynamic mean anyway? Also, why are we selling this job like we’re trying to convince a teenager to go to a movie with their Mom by describing it as “not boring?”

I searched “hippo” on Indeed. I was sure nothing would come up… I told you any word, right?

  • Bad: We do not seek to change our brand – only to modernize and expand it. Like I said, the brand and product sells itself.
    • Why it’s bad: The job post is for a CMO. No CMO wants to walk into a job where everything is perfect. If the brand sells itself, why are you hiring a CMO?

I searched “Lucid” on Indeed.

  • Bad: Our ideal candidate exhibits a can-do attitude and approaches his or her work with vigor and determination. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate excellence in their respective fields, to possess the ability to learn quickly, and to strive for perfection within a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
    • Why it isn’t good: BINGO! Buzzword bingo that is. They’ve said a lot without saying anything at all here.

The fact that I can Google words like purple, hippo, and lucid then find terrible job postings means I need to get back to work. If you need help with your job postings and you’d rather work with my team instead of doing all the work, don’t hesitate to book a meeting with me on ThreeEarsMedia.com. I put my calendar on the site, so it’s easy to book any time.

Job Postings recruiting

Katrina Kibben View All →

Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.

Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

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