Stop stalking candidates with boring job descriptions

First impressions count. Learn how to engage, motivate and inspire jobseekers.

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The job description is your chance to connect with potential quality candidates. And first impressions matter.

Right candidates are hard to find, so don’t make it harder on yourself by writing an uncompelling job description.

You don’t need to be necessarily creative to write the best job ad ever.

You just need to be clear, engaging, inclusive and concise. It prompts the right people to apply and help you trim down your time-to-fill.

Here are some common mistakes made in online job descriptions that attract the wrong applicants and what you can do to avoid making them:

1. Don’t write a novel

I usually don’t read emails unless they’re short or have bold words.

Think of job descriptions the same way. Don’t write more than four sentences about the job, highlight a few things they’ll be doing, and use bullet points. Keep it short to keep a reader’s full attention.

You’ll have plenty of time to explain the details after they apply.

2. Choose a clear job title

Try do not to use some fancy name to make the job sound awesome. You only run the risk that potential applicants won’t understand what the job actually entails.

Use simple terms or keywords to grab the right applicant’s attention.

3. Dont’ give immediately information about the Pay Rate

This classic move makes almost all applicants close the ad immediately (unless of course, you offer way more than your competitors). Don’t give the pay rate before you actually chat with an applicant.

Once you explain your culture and other perks to the job, you become more attractive, and the applicant will be able to evaluate all aspects of the job.

4. Be attractive and avoid clichés

It’s hard to write a great unique job description, but nothing worth doing is ever easy. Don’t just quickly come up with a generic job description. Don’t use clichés such us “looking for a team player” and “great attention to detail and communication skills,” could mean anything.

Be short, be bold, and be different. If it’s a job that almost every company like yours has, go beyond summing up daily duties, and give applicants a reason why they should want to work for you. For example highlight your culture and values.

5. Give candidates some contextual information about the team they will work with

Present the specific department or team of the position you’re advertising for in your job description, so that candidates gain a better understanding of their potential role. For example, mention:

· Tools and technology. List what kind of technology their team will use. This is particularly important to Engineering candidates.

· Key clients. Mention well-known companies you collaborate with. Knowing about your top clients is particularly important to Marketing candidates.

· Latest achievements. Briefly describe your recent successes (e.g. projects, sales wins and campaigns.) This is particularly important to candidates whose teams focus on metrics and results.

6. Be transparent for what happens next

What happens if applicants have additional questions? What happens after they apply? How do they know their application made it to you?

Make sure you include a real person’s name and phone number in your job post. That way, applicants have an idea about where to go next.

And when you get applicants, whether good or bad, don’t leave them hanging. Drop them a line either way, and treat them with respect so they can sleep at night.

Originally published at

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