6 Job Post Mistakes That Scare Off Good Applicants

job post mistakes

In today’s job market, you can’t just copy a job description, paste it to your career site or job board, and expect top candidates to begin applying in droves.

Well, you can…but you’re setting yourself up for a big disappointment.

While unemployment may still be relatively high, the most qualified job seekers have lots of options – which means your job posting likely has lots of competition online.

How can you ensure your job will be found, reviewed, and applied to by your ideal candidates? Start by avoiding these common mistakes.


6 Job Posting Mistakes


1. Not sharing pay.

Don’t kid yourself – pay matters! Data from job search giants like Indeed shows that applicants prefer listings with pay rates. LinkedIn’s research shows that compensation is the most important part of the job description to candidates. If you’re hesitant to include the pay rate, think about why that might be. Is it not competitive enough – or are you unsure? Get the data you need. Consult relevant, recent salary surveys for your position and geographic area. Find out what competitors are paying for similar jobs, and factor in the availability of local talent. And remember: The tighter the market, the higher you’ll need to pay to get qualified candidates to apply.


2. Not including key job title search terms.

Imagine you’re a job seeker for a minute. If you have a background in CNC machine programming and setup, would you be more likely to search for a term like “CNC Machine Programmer” or “Precision Machining Expert”? In an attempt to be creative or set their job postings apart, some employers make the mistake of getting cute with their job titles – undercutting their job’s searchability in the process. Use a clear, concise job title that your ideal candidate will likely search for.


3. Not listing benefits.

Pay is just one part of a total compensation package, so don’t leave your readers guessing. If you offer medical insurance, dental or vision insurance, a 401(k) program, or any other traditional benefits, include them. But don’t stop there. Employee discounts, mileage compensation, and other perks can tip the scales in your favor.


4. Not sharing location.

People want to know how far they will have to travel each day. Some job seekers may rely on public transportation and need to know if your job is accessible to them. Still, others are looking exclusively for remote opportunities. In your job posting, clearly explain where work will be performed. And if you’re concerned about confidentiality, simply list the general geographic location.


5. Not treating the posting as an advertisement.

Humdrum job descriptions may be helpful internally, but they do little to convince a qualified job seeker to apply. To grab their attention, go beyond covering the basics in your job posting, and promote the upsides of your opportunity:

    1. Detail the culture. Give potential candidates an idea of what your daily work environment is like.
    2. Share the “What’s In It For Me” – the reasons a job seeker should join your team. Think: Are there exciting projects to tackle? Room for growth? Lots of flexibility? Does your company have an amazing corporate social responsibility program? List those positives in your posting.
    3. But get to the point quickly. LinkedIn’s research shows that job posts with 150 words or less got candidates to apply 17.8% more frequently than posts in the 450 to 600-word range.


6. Not refreshing your posting.

Candidates click more often on new jobs than old ones. Additionally, the longer a job post sits on a site, the deeper it gets buried under newer postings. Whether you’re posting a position on your own career site or a major job board, periodically update the content and/or create an entirely new job post for your role if it remains unfilled.


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