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Say This, Not That: How to Create More Effective Job Posts

If you’re disappointed in your job posts’ performance, you’re not alone. According to Indeed, 65% of employers revise their published job posts due to disappointing results, specifically because the posts:

  • Failed to attract enough candidates
  • Attracted too many unqualified candidates, or
  • Attracted candidates who don’t embrace the company culture.

If this is your experience, too, it is a great time to rethink your job posts. While it’s not easy to view something so familiar with fresh eyes, consider these ideas for getting those creative juices flowing—and attracting the candidates you really want.  

Think Like a Marketing Pro

Your company’s marketing department works relentlessly to attract customers, both by developing a brand voice pitched to your target market and expertly promoting your products and/or services.

This approach works equally well with talent acquisition, except your “customers” are your prime candidates and your “products” are your company, culture, workforce, and the position you’re seeking to fill.

Not sure how to do this? Well, try another timeless marketing strategy: do some market research. Check out the job posts of the leaders in your industry—the ones you most admire—particularly noting:

  • What they include (and leave out)
  • What they lead with, and how they organize their posts
  • Specific words choices, especially job titles
  • The post’s tone/voice — how the employer comes across
  • The length of the post

Chances are, you’ll pick up quite a few good ideas this way, while opening your mind to some new possibilities. 

Building Blocks of Great Job Posts

A compelling job post includes everything jobseekers need to know. To that end, a job post should include:

  • Search-friendly Job Title – Using job titles like “tech ninja” and “sales superstar” may seem playful and catchy, but they’re not search-engine friendly—which means your posts may as well be invisible. According to, candidates search by job title and location. Explore the leading job boards and use the most common job title for the position you’re posting. (If there’s more than one, weave the others in the body of the post. For example, you might use “software developer” in your title, but work “software engineer” into your description.)
  • Detailed Job Qualifications – The more specific you are, the better you’ll shake out non-qualified applicants. Bulleted lists work well here because they’re easy to read, but try to limit the list between five to eight bullets. (If you have trouble shrinking it down, omit obvious qualifiers like “good time-management skills” and “self-starter.”)
  • Salary Range – Don’t be shy here; specifying a salary range saves everyone time by setting realistic expectations. And of course, in some states, it’s required by law.  
  • Key Benefits/Notable Perks – Studies show that job hunters value quality employee benefits, so highlight them. In addition, candidates prize perks like remote and hybrid work options, flexible schedules, generous time-off, and wellness benefits—so if you’ve got it, flaunt it.
  • Company and Cultural Information – Provide a brief overview of your business, its position in your industry and community, and your overall culture and core values. This will help draw ideal candidates to you.
  • Call to Action – In addition to providing an application link, tell candidates exactly what to include (i.e. resume, cover letter, etc.). Make it easy for them to give you what you want. 

Additional Ways to Power-up Your Job Posts

Here’s a few more suggestions for optimizing your job posts.

  • Use reader-friendly formatting. Jobseekers will skip long, dense, word-heavy posts. Use short paragraphs, bullets, subheads, and white space to ensure your post is easy on the eyes.
  • Make it personal. Instead of “the applicant,” use “you”—and build an immediate connection.
  • Keep it short and lead with the key information. According to LinkedIn, candidates spend 14 seconds reviewing a post before deciding whether to apply. After you write your initial draft, review it with an eye for deleting every unnecessary word.
  • Collaborate! It’s a beautiful thing when HR and marketing teams work together. See if your friends in marketing will offer you some ideas for updating your job post template.
  • Keep evolving. Job posts aren’t static. Pay attention to what’s working and what’s not—and make changes accordingly. Practice makes perfect!

One final thought: it’s hard to build effective job posts without compelling, accurate job descriptions to base them on. To test your current job descriptions, try our Job Description Generator

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