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Write an Irresistible Job Description

When you sit down to draft a post for your open position, you’ll have several goals in mind: 1.) You want to encourage candidates to apply, so you have a large pool of talent to select from. 2.) You want the right candidates to take action and the wrong candidates to self-select and move on. And 3.) you want everyone—not just potential candidates, but also their friends, random readers, and potential customers—to walk away with a positive impression of your company. So your job post plays three roles: it acts as an attractant, a deterrent, and a branding message. If you hit all three notes, you can call your post a smashing success. Here are a few tips that can help you make this happen.

1. Be clear.

And impressive and professional message is a well written message. If you need outside writing or editorial help, get it. Think in terms of brevity, clarity, and relevance. And remember, if you don’t understand a sentence or phrase, your readers certainly won’t either. (Hint: Watch out for empty statements like “We’re looking for team players who take ownership and leaders who know how to get the job done.” What exactly does this mean? Delete this and replace it with something meaningful and specific about the job.)

2. Be warm and welcoming.

Nobody like a post that’s just a forbidding list of must-haves and need-not-applies. You’ll deter the great candidates—not just weak ones—if you suggest that all applicants will need to grovel for your attention. Even if this is true and you expect an avalanche of qualified responses, you’ll still need to pitch your company. Talk about the benefits of working here, and brag a little bit about the company’s history and mission.

3. If you have specific cut-offs, share them now.

Real cut-offs include concrete credentials. If you only plan to consider those with very specific credentials, share this now. It will save you and an unqualified candidate a significant amount of time. If you’ll only consider GPAs above 3.5, or applicants with current CPR certifications, state that here.

4. Describe your culture.

Just a few words will work, especially if the words are meaningful and well chosen. If your workplace is competitive rather than collaborative (or vice versa), let applicants know this. If the hours are eight to midnight instead of nine to five, you can save yourself and your candidates some headaches by saying this now.

For more on how to attract great applicants, contact the sourcing, staffing and recruiting experts at Personnel Services Unlimited.