Tell me if this sounds familiar: whenever you advertise a job, your inbox ends up bursting at the gills with candidates that only satisfy a few of the essential experience requirements for the position that you’re trying to fill. So what gives? You spent the time creating a compelling, accurate job description that covers the day to day and experience requirements of your job, right? Though you may think that you’ve done an adequate job on your job description, you need to make sure that you’re sending the right sort of message to applicants. You want your job ad to speak to your ideal candidate, the sort of employee that you’d hire on the spot if they came into your office. If your job advertising isn’t aimed toward audience you want to attract, well then it’s really no wonder that you aren’t satisfied with the applicants you’ve been seeing.
Okay, so you want to present the job in a positive light. First, describe the job in a big picture sort of way: how the position fits in with the department and, ultimately, with the rest of the company. There are a lot of job descriptions out there for the role that you want to fill, making it necessary to differentiate. Describe the position as an opportunity. You want to give job seekers something to identify with: challenges they will face, the rewards that they stand to gain, the professional growth that they will undergo through working for you. You want your reader to think, “Hey, I could really picture myself working there.”
As far as listing your requirements, stay away from bulleted lists. Instead, go through the daily tasks that the job entails and the expertise/programs that a new hire would be using to complete these tasks. This way, applicants get a solid picture of what it’s like to work for your company instead of a series of requirements that leaves you with absolutely no clue of what the day to day will be like. You might also want to talk to somebody who actually does the job you’re trying to fill (if possible). They will probably have a lot more insight into the job than you do and their input can be highly valuable.
Once you’ve got solid descriptions of the day-to-day and how that fits in with your company (and their career), it’s time to do a little editing. At the very least, read the dang thing before you send it out. I can’t tell you how many times we come across job descriptions with blatant typos and grammar mistakes. The idea here is to look appealing to professionals in your industry, and sloppiness is not professional. Once you’re happy with your job description and are sure that your post is mistake-free, then it’s time to send that sucker off and pray for the best.
Though it might not seem that important, a well crafted job description can make all the difference when it comes to attracting the candidates that you want to your company.