I remember that when the countdown to college graduation began, my mind started racing. I spent a lot of money to get a degree so I could get a job. So where was the damn job?
I remember sitting in my apartment opening a hundred different tabs and applying to everything I found online. I was applying for anything. Anything was better than nothing – I had loans to be repaid and an “adult life” to live, whatever the hell I thought that meant at the time.
Despite reading the job post thoroughly ahead of time, I still ended up on some of the most random interviews. I remember for one role, I drove all the way to the middle of nowhere West Virginia only to find out it was a pyramid scheme. For another, they wanted me to work in a call center selling car insurance. I was so frustrated. That’s not what they said in the job post.
Why Are Entry Level Job Posts So Complicated?
I know better now. I know that most recruiters were never taught to write a job posting, so whether it’s an entry level job post or executive, it probably says a lot without saying anything at all. That’s what happens when you’re not quite sure what to write but you “just need something to post.”
I can almost feel the head nodding. We’ve all been there.
What I can’t quite figure out is how these posts get so convoluted. I mean, you just said entry level in the job title and no experience required. Why are there 27 bullets filled with buzzwords that don’t do anything to describe what the position entails?
How Do You Write A Good Entry Level Job Post?
You might think you’re saying one thing, but entry level candidates are reading something else. With entry level hiring up 22%, you want to stand out for the right reasons. You need to tell a different story and stop copying and pasting (or writing) these laundry lists of requirements.
Instead, entry level job posts only need to convey 3 things in a way that anyone can read it and understand. Those three thigns are:
- Impact of Work: What can’t we do if we do not have someone in this role? Tell them. Explain the bigger picture. Who will their job be effecting? How will their position impact the world at large, their community, and the people who use your products or services? We don’t hire people for fun. Tell them why. It can be as straightforward as “you answer emails to make sure the CEO shows up to meetings on time.”
- Everyday Activities: What will this candidate be doing on a daily basis? Remember that most entry level candidates are applying to your job as their first job – they are likely unfamiliar with how corporate jobs operate. Don’t be afraid to detail what their day-to-day activities will look like. They wake up, put their clothes on, and start work. Now what? What will they be doing from the moment they clock in to the moment they clock out? Be transparent about what sucks, too. If there’s a reason everyone quits – tell them now.
- No Mandatory Requirements: If your position is truly entry level, there should not be any mandatory requirements. Instead, say, “You don’t need any specific qualifications to qualify for this role. We’ll teach you everything you need to know.”
Job Postings That Resonate With Entry Level Candidates
Steal that last part about “we will teach you everything you need to know.” It can change the way entry level candidates read and respond to your job posting. You want candidates to read your job postings and trust you. Entry level candidates are entering the field with a willingness to learn – by placing their career in your hands, more is at stake for them than you.
If your candidates are met with unreasonable requirements, buzzword galore, and an unclear image of what they’ll be doing on the job, how are they going to be able to put their trust in you to kick off their career in the right direction?
Better workplaces start with treating entry level candidates right – and we can begin that change starting with our job postings. That is a candidate’s first impression of you and your company, and where the hiring process starts. Make it stand out for the right reasons.
Katrina (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased 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.