How to Write a Job Posting... That Gets Results!


by Kelsey, the HR Lady

Have you ever found yourself copying a job posting from a year or two ago, changing the title and a couple bullet points, and then posting as new? Or taking the job description a manager drafted and just throwing it up on the website (or am I the only one)? 

Maybe that was enough before, but especially in a tight labor market, you need to do everything you can to attract the right applicants. And a strong job posting is a great start.

If you don't have a Marketing Department writing your job posts for you, here are some steps you can take to make the process a little less painful and a lot more effective:


Step 1: Why should anyone work for you? 

Write a short "about" for your company that shows why your company is worth working for.

Then ask yourself:

1) Are you telling the truth? If not, fix that.

2) Can this same language be used to describe your local Walgreens, or does it actually make you stand out? Being specific is a good thing – a good “about” section will not only attract the right candidate, but help the wrong candidate disqualify themselves.

Keep in mind that RedBalloon job seekers might also visit your "Company Profile," where they will find the company description that you submitted in your registration form. You can edit this any time by going to "My Account" in your dashboard and selecting "My Profile" and "Edit with Profile Builder." Your company description should inspire a job seeker to click right back to that job post so they can figure out how to apply!


Step 2: Understand the job description 

Often you know that your company has a need, but the need is difficult to define. Not only are undefined positions nearly impossible to fill (since they aren’t targeted at a specific candidate profile), but they set you up for indecision and doubt in the interview process. This will slow your process down considerably, and could result in losing any good candidates you might have stumbled on.

This isn’t to say you need to know what every minute of the day looks like for someone who fills this position. But you should be able to concisely articulate why the role would be worth someone’s time.


Step 3: Write a job posting, not a novel 

Simplicity is key to catching a candidate’s interest.

With a quick scroll, the candidate should be able to get the lay of the land. The purpose of a job posting is to attract the right candidate – it needs to be informative enough to give a good overview of the job/company, but not exhaustive such that it causes boredom, confusion, or disinterest.  

Think about it. Would you read the car manual for a vehicle you aren’t even sure you want to consider? Posting a full job description as a posting is similar to asking a candidate to do just that.

Save something for the interview.


Step 4: Get rid of clutter 

Can you say “needs to collaborate with team members to make the process better” in six slightly different ways? For sure. Should you? Definitely not.

Some companies seem to think a role is only as impressive as the number of words used to describe it. Don’t be that company.


Step 5: List your actual requirements 

Do you actually need a bachelor’s degree? Or do you need someone who understands your market? Do you actually need 5 years of experience? Or do you need someone who is able to learn quickly?

We’re in a talent shortage. Don’t set a great candidate up to disqualify themselves by reading job requirements you were not intentional about.


Step 6: Pay attention to details 

No one notices when you do it right, but everyone notices when you do it wrong. Use titles that are understandable outside of your company. Spellcheck. Be consistent with font size. Use periods at the end of every bullet point requirement, or not at all. When you set up a bullet point list, use consistent tense and sentence structure.

The more consistent you are, and the fewer errors you make, the more you allow your candidate to focus on the actual job opportunity and not the posting language.


TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read) 

Think about the posting from the candidate’s perspective. Is it easy to read? Are the goals of the position clear? Does the company sound like it is worth working for?

Be direct, be clear, and be honest. Don't go into exhaustive detail. Let your candidates use their ingenuity to imagine how they’d do the job you're posting about, instead of trying to decipher the job post itself.

Then go post on