Tips for Writing More Effective Job Postings

Posted by Ashley Jones
job postings

Many job postings in the cleared community are pulled straight from the government contract award. While you can’t change the requirements of the job, you do have some flexibility in how you choose to advertise it. Improve your job postings to meet their full potential with these tips.

Crafting Titles

1. Keep it brief. Many job seekers search for jobs on their mobile devices, so put the most important words at the beginning. Aim for 60 or fewer characters to optimize mobile response rates.

2. Be specific. Your title is not the place for generalities. You need to be precise and include the keywords that best describe the role. A targeted title like Java Developer is more specific than Software Developer.

3. Skip the buzzwords. Looking for a Linux Wizard? Well candidates won’t be searching for wizards or gurus, so keep it straightforward to ensure better search relevance.

4. Ditch internal lingo. While you may classify experience levels by Roman numerals, stick to standard descriptions like Senior that are more likely to be searched for and understood.

5. Avoid requisition numbers and special characters. Keep symbols and characters such as *&!:;() out of your titles. Click rates are also higher when you avoid abbreviations. Think to what is most crisp and immediately legible.

Organizing Your Job Posting

To engage job seekers and make sure they keep reading beyond the job title, hook them from the start by making the job posting about them. This means moving your company boiler plate below the fold and instead focusing on what’s in it for them. Consider the following structure:

Job Summary & Key Selling Points | Responsibilities & Duties | Qualifications & Skills | Company Information

1. Job Summary & Key Selling Points

Your summary needs to be strong, enticing, and showcase why this job is a great opportunity. Personalization will help readers visualize themselves in the role and assess how they will fit in. So use “you” and “your” when describing what the job entails. Also include your expectations and what success looks like. What’s the big picture? And don’t forget to mention key selling points you might offer like a 9/80 schedule, flexible/remote work options, continuing education, student loan paydowns, free lunches, day-care services, etc.

2. Responsibilities & Duties

This is your chance to define the core responsibilities of the job in roughly 5-10 bullet points. Your list should be detailed enough that candidates can determine their level of qualification before applying. Outline what the day-to-day responsibilities will be to further shape their understanding of what can be expected. Be transparent and don’t underplay what’s expected. If you set realistic expectations now, your retention rates will benefit.

3. Qualifications & Skills

You might need to exercise some restraint when listing qualifications. Naturally, you’ll touch on education, experience, technical skills, security clearance, and any certification requirements, but limit your must haves to those that are truly musts. You can list skills that are nice to have but make it clear that they’re not required. Otherwise you risk limiting your pool of applicants.

4. Company Information

Share something attention grabbing. Tell them what’s unique about your company and help them understand why they would enjoy working for you. This might be their first glimpse into your employer brand. So showcase your company culture and give candidates the insight they need to gauge if your organization would be a good fit for them.

Other Useful Tips

  • Post salary ranges whenever possible. It not only complies with legal requirements in certain locations, but also fosters pay equity, enhances the candidate experience, and increases application rates.
  • Consider how candidates search for flexible work options. Job seekers often use the terms “work from home” and “remote,” but many employers use “telework” in job postings. Try including all three variants to ensure your positions are found.
  • Use gender-neutral wording in your job postings to attract more female candidates. This can increase your number of applicants by over 40%.
  • Review formatting and overall structure. Will readers have to endlessly scroll before coming across any paragraph breaks or white space? Your job posting should be easily digestible whether it’s viewed on a mobile device or desktop computer.

Download the tip sheet here:


  • Ashley Jones

    Ashley Jones is ClearedJobs.Net's blog Editor and a cleared job search expert, dedicated to helping security-cleared job seekers and employers navigate job search and recruitment challenges. With in-depth experience assisting cleared job seekers and transitioning military personnel at in-person and virtual Cleared Job Fairs and military base hiring events, Ashley has a deep understanding of the unique needs of the cleared community. She is also the Editor of ClearedJobs.Net's job search podcast, Security Cleared Jobs: Who's Hiring & How.

    Ashley Jones [email protected]
This entry was posted on Monday, August 14, 2023 10:00 am

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