How to write a great job listing
Most of the time, when conversation turns to job applicants it is the candidate that is the centre of attention – how to work a cover letter, what to include in a CV, what to wear and how to act within the interview. Yet there are critical factors for an employer too if they want to hire the best person. If you’re an employer looking for a web developer, for instance, then you are going to be up against many competitors and need to make your job listing stand out.
The good news is that applicants will likely be looking on an IT job board, and you will likely be placing your advert in such a place. To ensure people at least look at the advert, you need to sell it in the title, which is usually all that candidates see before clicking on it to read the whole thing. The first rule is to include as much information as possible within the limited space available. For instance, rather than putting simply “Web developer needed”, you should put more specifics: “Web designer required for HTML & CSS role”. Not only does this seem a more professional advert, you can also be sure that any applicants will be competent in the development code you need, rather than being inundated with cover letters from anyone. Figures show that including a technology in the title increases the application rate by about 25 per cent; viewing figures will be largely the same, but those viewing it will be more relevant to the type of person you’re looking for.
There are a number of things to do within the application itself too, one of which is including a few (but not too many) bullet points. These break the body of the application up, making it easier to read and easier to digest the information. Applicants are therefore more likely to read the entire listing than if it was one solid, unbroken block of text. It’s also important to state the salary range – the perfect candidate may be on the brink of applying and then walk away because of suspicions the undisclosed salary will be too low.
Then there are the things not to do. First, don’t include too many bullet points. Generally speaking, try not to have more than five or six or it looks unprofessional and lacks true detail. It’s also important to keep the posting detailed but concise – you don’t need a whole page advert, and an extensive advert will often lead to people getting bored and looking at another job posting. Also, make the title stand out. A listing with a generic title may not only lack applicants, it may lack viewers altogether.
All in all, if you want to attract a good employee you’ll need to create a good listing. Put another way, if you released a listing that was titled “Developer needed” and the content was only “Developer needed for website”, you could have cause for concern about the quality of applicants.
In part, what to include in a job listing comes down to the type of person you are looking to attract. That doesn’t just mean a developer, but how professional, experienced and qualified you want them to be. If that’s what you want, your heading needs to include something about the type of technology that will be worked on, and the description to state clearly what the duties will be, as well as the importance of qualifications, or whatever it is that is important to you. This will help to ensure that all candidates are the type you are looking for, and not people taking a chance trying to get a job they want but ultimately have no experience with.