Mastermind of Job Listings, Pinky and The Brain

5 Ways to Become a Mastermind at Writing Job Listings

First impressions can change the way you look at applicants, contractors, vendors, and everyone else that you come in contact with on a daily basis. Those impressions can be good or bad, but human nature causes us to create those mental connections–even if we are trying to stay unbiased.

It’s easy to forget that applicants are human and that they, too, develop first impressions. The job listing that is posted online and shared through social media says a lot about your company and the position you are trying to fill. Make sure that you send a positive impression into the world that will bring you the right applicants.

Applicant Friendly Job Listings

Easy to Find

Most applicants use the internet to career search. Regardless of the position you are posting, make sure you keep it easy to find and identify. Job listings for, say, a dog-walker to an executive are found online via a plethora of sites specific to various industries. To make sure your opening is found, use keywords that are relevant in the eyes of an applicant. For example, if you list a job in the Human Resources Department, be sure to use: Human, Resources, Human Resources, HR, and H.R. The subtle differences in these labels are all relevant to different applicants and job boards.

Also, label the position and develop the description for what it really is–do not try to hide unfavorable job tasks. Be truthful to your applicants and they will be truthful to you in return.

Writing Concise, Informative Job Listings

Balancing Act

Creating an honest description of an open opportunity doesn’t mean you have to write a book. But you do want to give more detail than simply listing “Customer Service”. You should strike a balance that provides an accurate job description with required duties, but does so without being too cumbersome to read.

Fun, Professional Job Descriptions | Control Catchy Gimmicky Exciting Words !!!!!  $$$$  !!!!!!

You want to be noticed. There are countless employers looking for quality workers. But don’t go weird and scare away potential applicants. “Birds of a feather flock together,” remember when your mom used to say that? Yeah, channel that. Put out quality job descriptions that applicants can read and that provide an idea of how awesome it is to work for you. This will provide better results than posting a “‘too good to be true” job ad with bold wording and over-the-top punctuation.

Company Culture

Design a Personality

Stand out and convey your work culture by changing boring section titles on the application. Replace “Education” with something that has more sparkle, like “Smarts” or “School Spirit”. You could even carry the fun into the instructions. For example: “We love to support our favorite teams in the office. Let us know where you went to school so we know where you should sit. Just like finals, you must fill out each section below.”

Looking for jobs online can become monotonous, causing job-seekers to avoid longer applications.  But by stepping out of the box slightly and hinting at how your workplace is different, you can engage applicants who spend several hours a day filling out applications.

Writing for the Applicant

Be the Applicant

Try being the applicant by taking a few minutes to apply for in-house jobs yourself. It is always good to take a moment to reflect on the application process you have set up, and then actually test it. You might find that the process isn’t flowing exactly how you thought it was, or you might just notice an opportunity for improvement.

Searching job boards for similar positions can also help you gauge what job-seekers find when they search for “Accounting” positions within your area. Your search results may have very similar descriptions, or they could be very different. Either way, increase your personal understanding of the applicant’s perspective by playing the role of applicant.


So there you go! Those are 5 ways to become a mastermind at writing job listings. Whether you’re failing to get the the right candidates, or simply need more people to apply, these tips can help you improve your job listings and secure top talent that fits your organization. To learn how to manage all these great applicants using hiring technology, learn about ExactHire’s Applicant Tracking System or contact us today!

Image credit: Pinky And The Brain by JD Hancock (contact)

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