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The Power of a Job Posting Or It's Time to Break out the Finger Paints

Amber Dawn Woods

Amber Dawn Woods

We need to have a conversation. We need to talk about Job Descriptions and Job Postings. Specifically, about the definition of description.

See, I just finished some research (Google for the win!) for a prospective client and I’m still just scratching my head! While looking at job postings for a very specific and highly technical position, I kept finding the same two basic postings.

One style was a short paragraph posting with little to no details about the company, two or three generic lines about the responsibilities and absolutely no pay or benefit information. The disclaimer at the end was generally longer than the actual posting!

The other type was long. I mean, long. And boring! Full of acronyms and industry jargon with detailed information on each and every point, complete with percentages and topped off with demanding and negative language. Interestingly, there was very little information about the company. I was left confused and feeling sorry the poor unfortunate soul that got stuck with that job!

Now I recognize that some positions, and definitely the one I was researching, are technical and require very specific skills and certifications, while others may seem more common sense, as if everyone should already know what all they entail. So, no, not every job needs the same type of posting.

But y’all, a description, by definition, should be a picture in words.

What kind of picture are you painting for job seekers?! Is it one that inspires them to WANT to work for your company? Or one that has them scrolling right on by to the next listing?

You see, the first style, while blessedly short, didn’t tell the job seeker anything. At all. Nothing about the company, the culture or the competencies needed for someone to succeed in that space. No way to even tell if the position is entry level or director level.

But the picture painted by that second style of job posting was that of a tedious, colorless job with no soul.

Quality candidates are not applying for either of those! In fact, with unemployment at record lows, it’s a safe bet your next all-star hire isn’t sitting home scrolling through job posting sites all day. They’re busy working. For your competitor!

And while they might be secretly dreaming of switching careers or feeling stuck in a thankless job with a boss and company they don’t respect and threatening to quit every Tuesday with friends over Margaritas, they don’t actually need to find a new job. There is no urgency. They are open for better opportunities and sure, they’ll occasionally take a peek at the job boards just to see what’s out there, but they need to be inspired in order to do something.

Your job posting is your only chance at a first impression. If it doesn’t tell your story, if it doesn’t paint an accurate picture of who you are and what you are looking for, if it doesn’t describe the company, the culture and the competencies needed to succeed, then it might be time to pull out the old finger paints and get creative. Remember, there are lots of choices out there. Give people a reason to WANT to work for and with you!

Amber Dawn Woods