I’ve been doing more speaking lately and whenever people read my bio, my first urge is to remind everyone that my bio details aren’t what’s most important or interesting about the presentation. I don’t understand why you want to know where I went to college but WE ARE! That’s a Penn State reference I’m confident about half of you didn’t get.
See? Not the most important piece of intel (especially 15+ years later).
I don’t really understand why we read those lengthy bios at the beginning of the session anyway. You showed up for the session based on the topic, not the credentials. Turns out, the same thing applies when companies lead a job posting with their About Us. If they really want the job, you should focus on the topic not the perks.
Why Do So Many Job Posts Start the Same, Then?
When I started writing job posts, I went into it believing that the content would be really nuanced. It would be a little different based on every industry, every department, or every level. That’s not what happened.
Instead, I realized that the tactics apply universally but the mistakes? Also pretty universal. Most of these people were never taught how to write a job posting so copying and pasting everyone else’s stuff was leading to a bunch of posts that looked exactly the same and didn’t work for all the same reasons.
The irony here is that everyone thought they were standing out with their great About Us content, so they put that in the first paragraph.
Read that one more time: they all thought they were standing out by doing the exact same thing as their competitors.
What is a Good About Us and Where Does it Go?
The logic behind putting the About Us first was always that people would be convinced to join because they want to join your company, regardless of the role. That’s a cool idea but it just isn’t true any more. Realistically, unless your company is the next best thing or a really well-known brand like Google? It doesn’t really matter who you are.
So broadly, you can go ahead and put that About Us at the bottom. You don’t need to lead with that because you are impacting your search engine optimization. You need keywords that are associated with the title to make the most of that first paragraph. I’d like to see a job pitch there describing impact of the work, every day activities, and mandatory requirements. Not some speech about how great you are.
To make that About Us something people want to read? I say don’t waste your energy. I don’t care what the About Us says and neither do your candidates.Just put something there that your marketing team has approved.
Let’s face it: everyone complains that unqualified people are applying to jobs. That means they’re probably not reading the post in detail. And if they do read it in detail, they’re going to put a lot more attention on what they do instead of your company overview if they really are a highly qualified person that wants your job.
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.