How to Write a Job Posting: The Five Sections

The Growing your Team Podcast: Episode 140


Are you wondering how to write a job posting that attracts quality candidates?

When hiring, you can’t hire the best person for your opening if they never apply. The job posting is the first thing candidates look at to understand if your position is right for them.

A well-written job posting serves two purposes – to attract the right candidates and discourage unqualified or poor fit candidates from applying. A poorly-written job posting can turn away even your ideal candidate.

If you want to attract the best candidates for your opening, you need to learn how to write a job posting. To start, all proper job postings include five sections main sections.

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Next Steps:

You wrote a job posting for your open position, but will it attract the right candidates?

When it’s time to hire, all you need to do is tell people you’re hiring and the perfect candidate will show up ready to be hired… right?

Unfortunately, hiring doesn’t work that way. Especially in the current market.

The best candidates are only applying to the positions that appear to be the right fit for them. If they don’t find a connection between their job wants and your job posting, they will skip over your opportunity and move on to the next.

In many cases, the reality is, it’s not that the job isn’t what they are looking for, it’s that the job posting doesn’t hit the mark.

Is your job posting helping candidates see that your opening is the right job for them or is it turning candidates away for all the wrong reasons?

Let’s find out through a Will Your Job Posting Attract the Right Candidates? Audit

Episode Transcription: 

This podcast episode transcription might be edited for clarity and conciseness.

Hello Jamie Van Cuyk, and welcome back to the growing Your team podcast. Today we’re going to get practical and breakdown the parts of a job posting.

My team and I do a lot of research looking at open jobs, and I can tell you that most job postings are not very good. They lack a lot of important information and really play under the assumption that We say we’re hiring, so we’re going to get good candidates. We don’t have to put any effort into the process.

But guess what? You need to put effort into searching for a candidate, and that effort starts with writing a job posting that connects with the job seeker. So today, I’m going to walk you through the five main parts of a job posting. Four of them should be in every job posting, and one is optional.

00:01:54  – A Job Posting is Like a Funnel

The way I like to frame our job postings is like a funnel. You start with the broad information, and then you narrow it down, so by the time you get to the bottom of that job posting, you have this small group of candidates that are saying yes, this is for me.

I remember seeing someone say you should reject 80% of the people who apply. That really stood out to me. If you’re rejecting 80% of the people that are applying, you’re not doing a very good job describing the job. You’re not telling people what you’re looking for, so you’re having people apply because they think they’re a fit when they’re really not.

When you tell people what you’re looking for and what you need, you might get fewer people to apply, but they tend to be better quality candidates.

With the job posting, you want to start broad and work your way down.

00:02:47 – Section 1: Company Overview

The 1st place you start is with the company overview.

Three sentences max.

You want to briefly tell them who you are, what you do, the clients you serve, and anything unique about your organization.

That company overview should be cut and pasted on every job you post, no matter what the position is, because it’s an introduction to your company. There should be nothing in here that is position specific.

This introduction is three sentences max. You do not get any more than that, only three.

Why? A candidate does not want to read pages and paragraphs that cover everything about who you are as a company. If a candidate is not familiar with you, you want to at least give them a little introduction. Then they can always go find more information if they want.

00:03:55 – Section 2: Position Overview

The next section is the position overview.

Once again, three sentences. A quick introduction of what the job is.

So, what is this person actually going to be doing, and then a sentence or two describing who is right for the position.

To give you a little insight into the job postings we write, when we write the job overview, we do one sentence that is a summary of the position. The next one uses the language “The ideal candidate for this position is…” and the third sentence says, “This position is for you if…”

After reading the section, we want them nodding their head and saying, “Yes, that describes me. Let me keep reading.”

00:05:01 – Section 3: Job Details

The third section is the job details. This is a bulleted list of what the person is actually going to do.

No more than 20 bullet points. That might seem like a lot, but you don’t need to do a full 20. Typically, eight to 10 is the minimum, and no more than 20. Once you get more than 20, you’re getting too into the details. They don’t need to know every little detail at this time. Focus on the high-level tasks that this person is going to do.

00:05:57 – Section 4: Requirements 

Then the 4th section is requirements. What is required either for this person to get the job or be able to do the job?

What we typically put here is experience needed, education or certifications requirements, and software or tools they need knowledge of on day one.

Also, we include, is it a full-time or part-time job? Are specific hours required? If so, what are those hours? It could be that your business operates from 7 am to 3 pm, and you need to make sure that that is clear so the only people who apply are people that can work those hours.

The requirements section helps to narrow down the candidates a little bit more by making them see if they’re the right fit and someone who could potentially be said yes to for an interview.

 00:07:22 – Benefits 

Those four sections are the ones that are required. They should always be included so a candidate can find out if they’re the right fit. But there’s one more section that you might include depending on what your company offers, and that section is benefits.

If your company offers benefits, paid vacation, health insurance, health insurance allowance, anything like that, you want to list it in bullet form on the job posting. You do not need to give details. For example, you can just say paid time off versus ten days of vacation time and five days of sick time. You can just list paid holidays instead of listing out every holiday. Those details can come up later in conversations, but this is just giving people an insight into what type of benefits you offer.

00:08:54 – Wrap-Up

Those are the five sections of a job posting. If you’re posting a job, you want to make sure that you include the four required sections and then that fifth benefit section if you have something to add in that area.

Remember, the job posting is important because if you don’t get the right people nodding their heads and saying yes, this is the job for me, then you can’t hire the right person. So, make sure you write a job posting that connects with your ideal candidate so you can make great hiring decisions and get the people on your team that you are happy to pay every pay period.

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How to Write a Job Posting The Five Sections, Growing Your Team Podcast, Jamie Van Cuyk, Small Business