MaRS Library How to write a standout job posting
A job description and a job posting are similar but not the same.
A job description is an internal document that captures the responsibilities, authority, complexity, judgment and working conditions associated with that job. A job posting is an advertisement meant to attract job applicants. The posting should be a trimmed-down, jazzed-up version of the description. Your job posting should make both the job and your organization stand out by appealing to the interests and preferences of the specific people you want to attract.
What should the job posting include?
At the minimum, the job posting should include the following:
- Job title
- Job location
- List and/or summary of main responsibilities
- List of key qualifications, including the required levels of education, experience and skills
- Instructions on how to apply
How to make your job posting stand out
- Lead with your company’s inspiring mission/purpose and values.
- Introduce the role. Say why it’s exciting and list whom the person will report to, key areas of ownership and whom they’ll be working with. To see great examples, click through to these job postings from Hootsuite.
- Don’t have a laundry list of responsibilities! Create a “what you’ll be doing” section that is performance-based and highlights specific milestones and measurable impact.
- Question your minimum requirements to ensure you are not screening out good candidates. (E.g., do they really need a Bachelor of Computer Science for a UX role? Probably not.)
- Include a work perks section—sometimes called a “what’s-in-it-for-them” section. (See examples from ecobee and bioconnect.)
- Highlight company awards and industry recognition.
- Be transparent about your interview process.
- For bonus points, use photos to show off your culture, feature profiles of talent ambassadors and share social feeds (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Glassdoor and YouTube) to arm candidates with more information on why they should choose you.
- Customize a job posting page to attract a specific talent segment (e.g., an internships & early career page). Add testimonials, stories, blogs, videos, photos, and so on.
- Check your bias at the door. Use Textio to review job postings for biased language that can turn off a wider pool of candidates.
Make your job posting cater to online search
Online job sites and social media allow job-seekers to search with keywords such as location, skills and job title, or to filter results by the date posted. Every job site works differently, so make sure you comply with the requirements of the site.
It may be beneficial to associate your job posting with multiple industry categories to broaden the range of candidates who see it.
It’s a good idea to copy details such as the job title, location and start date into the body of the posting to ensure that all the possible information is captured for those who might be searching.
If you use acronyms, spell them out. For example, someone with quality assurance experience might search “quality assurance,” or “QA.” Either way, you want your job posting to show up in their search results.
- When do I need to hire an employee and who should my first hire be?.
- The Pay Equity Act: Pay equity legislation and Ontario startups.
- What are the top online job boards to use for recruiting candidates?.
- Financial statements: Research in Motion (RIM).
- Recruitment and selection for startups: Key steps to hire the best candidate.