Talent Acquisition

How to Write a Compelling Job Posting

By Mike Baumgarten

Last updated: Mar 8, 2023

You know who you want to recruit — and now it’s time to find them. To do that, you need to write a job posting. A job posting needs to attract candidates and entice them to apply for the role. For that reason, it’s important that the job posting has all the right elements to excite the right talent — and that’s what we’re here to help you with.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What is a job posting — and how is it different from a job description?
  • How to write a compelling job posting
  • Where to post: job boards and platforms

Note: If you haven’t read our 10-step recruitment guide you can get a complete overview of the entire recruitment process here.

Let’s dive in.

What is a job posting — and how is it different from a job description?

Put simply, a job posting is a job advertisement. It’s how you advertise the role you want to fill to potential candidates. A job posting includes a description of the position, the requirements for succeeding in the role, enticing details about your org, and exciting perks or benefits available to potential candidates.

Although a description of the role should be included in the posting, it’s important to note that a job posting is not the same as a job description.

A job description is a detailed, often formal description of the responsibilities, day-to-day tasks, and expectations of the position. The job description usually comes into play when you’ve found the right candidate and are ready to hire them. You send them the contract, and with it you include the job description so they know exactly what they’re signing up for.

A job posting, on the other hand, is intended to sell the position to potential candidates — a much earlier stage in the recruitment process. It needs to excite candidates about the possibility of working for your org so you can entice them to apply for your open position.

Posting a dry, impersonal description of the job probably won’t achieve that. But a fun, unique job posting that promises exciting new challenges, growth opportunities, and the prospect of working with interesting, inspiring people might just do the trick.

Writing such a job posting requires knowledge about more than just the job. It requires a deeper understanding of what makes your org the best place to work — and no one knows that better than you do.

How to write a compelling job posting

There are six elements you should include in your job posting:

  1. Job title
  2. Company and culture
  3. Job description
  4. Perks and benefits
  5. Location details
  6. Contact details

1. Write the job title — including its most enticing perks

The job title is the first thing a potential candidate sees on the listing. You want the job to look attractive, and simply listing the title of the position likely won’t cut it.

Think of the title as a slogan for the role being advertised. It needs an engaging hook to attract potential candidates.

For example, the job title for a junior software developer might be something like:

  • “Junior Software Developer — Flexible work hours,”
  • “Junior Software Developer — Full-Stack Growth Opportunities,” or
  • “Junior Software Developer — Growing Team.”

Include the two-three most enticing attributes of the position in the job title to show candidates up front what they might gain if they get to work for your org.

2. Introduce your company and your culture

Potential candidates want to know who you are and what you have to offer. Write a brief introduction of your org. Outline any information that a potential candidate would want to know — e.g. how the company started, what your core values are, and what your company culture is like.

Tip: Ask your employees what they like about being part of your org. This can help you pinpoint exactly what makes your org most desirable to new hires.

3. Write the job description

As mentioned above, the job posting should include a short description of the role. Write a short paragraph concisely summarizing the role. Talk directly to the candidate in an active voice, and avoid jargon and empty buzzwords.

Include a few of the most attractive features of the job, such as flexible work hours or career development opportunities. Once you’ve described the job, include a bulleted list of job requirements so candidates can see if they’re qualified for the role. Remember to split the list into “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.”

Don’t know how to write up job requirements? Check out step 2 in our 10-step guide: how to write job requirements to attract the best talent.

4. Highlight the top perks and benefits

You’ve already mentioned a few of the most attractive features of the job in the description. Now it’s time to list all the top perks and benefits of working for your org.

Include a bulleted list of the top reasons why a candidate should apply for the job. Examples of these could include salary range, paid time off, the option to work remotely, benefits packages, and other perks that set you apart from the competition.

5. List your location details

By this, we don’t just mean your address. To attract candidates from different locations, you need to make sure they know that the job is worth commuting or even moving for. Include a few of the most attractive aspects of your city, such as local sights, activities, and other relevant information about your location.

If your location is easily accessible by public transportation, emphasize just how easy it is to get there — for example: “Our downtown office is only a five-minute bus ride away from the central station.”

This is also a great time to mention details about your day-to-day office culture. Examples of these include:

  • “We usually go to the office three days a week,”
  • “Everyone uses standing desks,”
  • “We prioritize good coffee,” or
  • “Got a dog? Bring him to the office — we’d love to meet him!”

If your org offers relocation or housing assistance, now’s the time to mention it. If the job is remote or semi-remote, this should also be included here.

6. Include your contact details

To finish off your job posting, include an email and/or a phone number so candidates know how to reach you. If possible, include a hyperlink to your application page — and make sure to clearly define the deadline for the application.

You should also include clearly defined steps detailing what happens in the application process after the application is received. This ensures that candidates are well-informed and feel comfortable applying to your org.

Where to post: job boards and platforms

You’ve created your job posting — but where do you post it? In this section, we’ll cover three options: job boards, social media platforms, and offline talent acquisition.

Online job boards

According to LinkedIn, online job boards are one of the top channels candidates use when looking for new job opportunities.

There are many different online job boards to choose from. The best part? You don’t have to settle for just one. In fact, you want to post your job openings on as many boards as possible — after all, who knows which one your ideal candidate prefers.

Examples of online job boards include:

  • Glassdoor — a free digital platform that gathers information and reviews from employees or former employees about companies, salaries, and job openings
  • Wellfound (formerly AngelList Talent) — allows you to post jobs for free, find and vet qualified candidates faster, and increase your hiring rate
  • Indeed — a free resume search engine that allows employers to search for and contact job seekers open to new opportunities

Ironically, the one downside to using online job boards is that they’re so popular. Every startup is competing to hire the best talent, so you have to work a little harder to stand out in the crowd.

One way to do this is by showing candidates how they fit into your org. The Org can help you achieve this. When you set up your company page with The Org, you give candidates a unique first-person view behind the scenes of your organization.

Candidates can see exactly where they’ll sit in your organizational structure and who they’ll work with. This allows you to showcase your team — and prove that you’re the best place to work.

Social media

Your social media channels aren’t just a tool for marketing and public relations: they’re also great for finding the right candidates.

The beauty of social media job postings is that they often take on a life of their own. This means that even if the job posting doesn’t show up on your ideal candidate's feed or timeline, someone they know might react to it or tag them in the comments section.

If you’ve done your legwork and gathered a sizable following, you have ample opportunity to get in touch with the best talent.

For this purpose, we’ll highlight three social media platforms:

  • LinkedIn,
  • Twitter, and
  • Instagram.

LinkedIn is one of the biggest social media platforms for professionals. When you post a job opening on Linkedin, it will appear both in the jobs section and in the feed of users who match the qualifications. This allows you to reach a targeted audience actively looking for new job opportunities.

Twitter and Instagram have less work-focused profiles, making them less suitable for job postings. However, if you have a large following on these platforms, they can still be useful tools to spread the word that you’re hiring.

Just remember that you can't link directly to your job posting page from Instagram. Instead, you need to encourage your followers to click on the link in your profile bio. You can also add a link to the job posting in your Instagram stories.

Offline talent acquisition

In today's digital age, you might get the impression that everyone and everything can be found online. However, this is not the case when it comes to recruitment and talent acquisition. In fact, more than 60% of jobs in the US were found through traditional networking.

The offline job search — often referred to as the hidden job market — uses alternative strategies for attracting talents and candidates.

One of the most popular strategies today is employee referral programs. In short, these programs encourage current employees to refer network contacts and friends for open positions within the company. This reduces the time you spend writing job postings or finding the right channels.

Moreover, employees hired via such programs are more likely to be a good fit for your company culture and usually stay longer than other employees.

Key takeaways

Put simply, a job posting is a job advertisement. It summarizes all the most important aspects of the role to excite candidates about working for your org so you can entice them to apply for your open position.

When writing a job posting, make sure that all the information you include is presented in a concise, active manner that highlights all the most attractive aspects of the role. Include all the essential information about your org, the job, and what candidates stand to gain from working for you.

Finally, when it’s time to post the job, make sure to explore your options. And remember — you don’t have to settle for just one online job board.

Ready to post that job? Great! Let’s move on to the next topic in our 10-step guide: how to source candidates for your org.

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