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If you want to catch the attention of top-quality talent in today's job market, you can't rely on the same old standard-issue job posts. Today's candidates are looking for exciting, meaningful opportunities. Lists of job duties and qualifications won't get you very far.
If you want genuinely engaging job posts that attract talent, avoid these five mistakes:
1. Using Too Much Jargon
Skip the soulless industry buzzwords and clunky specialized lingo. Instead, keep your job posts as simple and direct as possible. Even if you're hiring for a very niche role, your job post should be something that the average layperson could understand.
In the best of circumstances, when job seekers feel they are a good match for a role, they rarely spend more than 80 seconds looking at the post. Worse, it takes the average job seeker less than a minute to decide whether or not a role is right for them.
Given job seekers' limited attention spans, the last thing you want to do is bore them with jargon-y job posts. Your ads should be digestible. They shouldn't cause job seekers to have flashbacks to college cram-sessions.
2. Not Posting at the Right Time
Okay, this isn't technically a mistake you're making in a job post, but it's a big mistake nonetheless. Research suggests that the later in the week you post your job ad, the less likely it is that candidates will see it. Most job-seeking activity occurs between Monday and Wednesday, with Wednesday being the peak day for job searches. To maximize exposure, try to post all your job ads during this period of the week.
If you want to get even more precise about it, note that links shared on Facebook between 1-4 p.m. do better than links shared at any other time. As for Twitter, the 1-3 p.m. window is your best shot – especially on days earlier in the week.
3. Asking a Lot, but Offering Little
You're looking for a rockstar. Your list of qualifications stretches on for miles. The "responsibilities" section of the post is practically its own whitepaper. You've outlined every single task you're expecting your new hire to handle.
But what's in it for the candidate? If you're like most employers, you've spent so much time obsessing over what you need that you've forgotten recruiting is a two-way street. Candidates want to know what's in it for them just as much as you do.
Research suggests that job descriptions emphasizing personal growth and advancement opportunities receive three times as many highly qualified applicants, so be sure to include information in your job ad about how taking this role will be good for candidates' careers. To further state your case, be sure to add information about benefits, company culture, team activities, office amenities, and anything else that shows candidates you care about them.
4. Keeping It Plaintext
It's 2017. We're surrounded by striking visuals, engaging videos, and all manner of exciting media. Meanwhile, your job posts are just long expanses of unbroken text.
While not every job board allows for media-rich job ads, you should make an effort to spice up your posts by whatever means you can. If you can add more pictures of the campus, do it. If you can share a video of the team engaging in some fun team-building exercises or describing the culture, awesome! Videos and images will hook candidates' attention quicker than any title or salary will.
5. Telling Without Showing
Related to the previous two mistakes is the all-too-common error of telling without showing. Your job post shouldn't just tell candidates what you're looking for – it should provide a vivid picture of what the job, culture, and company are like. Candidates should walk away from the post feeling like they've made a connection.
Of course, video and pictures can help with this, but so can your writing skills. Describe a day in the life of your company. Include quotes from employees on what their jobs and the culture are like. Take all the energy your pour into your consumer branding voice and let it loose in your job posts, too.
There you have it: five simple ways to start making your job posts more exciting today. Remember: Candidates – especially the best ones – have plenty of opportunities out there. Your job post's purpose is to get them interested in your role above all others. You can't do that unless you're offering something exciting and engaging.