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A strong job post template helps employers appeal to more candidates.

A job board helps your website make great strides toward traffic development and increasing revenue. But what if your advertisers don't know what to write, or how to write it effectively? Their loss in applicants might translate to your loss in traffic. It's worth your while to help them succeed.

Create a job board ad template or two for employers to follow if they need it. This offers direction, but it also gives your job board a more consistent, familiar feel.

Create an Easy-to-Follow Template

Job postings are marketing tools. And what's the purpose of marketing? To attract the target audience. A solid job board ad template explains that potential candidates want to know up front what's in it for them.

Candidates might not care at all that the employer is a Fortune 500 company. Qualities, not labels, make a company attractive. Also, advise employers to ditch the acronyms. ABCDE might mean something to someone, but words are searchable.

A template that follows those guidelines might look like this:

Title: Provide the name of the job, including identifying information. For example, if you're hiring a registered nurse, also tell which department he'll work in.

Section 1: Explain why the candidate will like working for your company. Lead with a compelling, relevant question such as, ''Do you want to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people?''

Section 2: Explain what makes your company stand out (characteristics, not labels like ''Fortune 500 company'').

Section 3: Describe what the position entails. This helps reduce the volume of candidates who lack a special proficiency that you're looking for.

Section 4: Offer some bullet points for what type of employment (contract, seasonal, full time, etc.), the location of the job, salary range, and other information.

Section 5: Explain what you need in a candidate, but resist asking for personality traits. Entrepreneur states that candidates may use that information to try to be something they're not, such as outgoing or upbeat.

Woman conducting a job interview
Ads that explain company characteristics help bring in more of the right kind of applicant.

Section 6: Give candidates all the information they need for the proper way to apply for the job, including a link for uploading a resume.

Above all, be clear and write in your own voice. Forbes chastises that corporate jargon such as ''core competency'' sounds interesting, but usually fails to describe anything real. You'll communicate better if you say exactly what you mean, such as ''fundamental strength.''

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Smaller Is Sometimes Better

Entrepreneur has a short and sweet example of an effective job posting that makes its point and leaves candidates with the information they need to apply for the job. This type of example may be just right for a small company.

''Interior designer seeks inside/outside salesperson. Flooring, drapes (extensive measuring), furniture, etc. In-home consultations. Excellent salary and commission. PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. San Francisco Bay Area. Send resume to G. Green at P.O. Box 5409, San Francisco, CA 90842.''

Candidates aren't inundated with too much descriptive information, but they do know at a glance whether they've got what it takes.

A Bad Posting Might Be Worse Than None at All

Sometimes knowing what not to do is equally important. Unless employers really want to give a bad impression of the job and their business, remind them not to follow this prickly example from Smashing Magazine :

''Required Skills:

  • Proficient in Mac-based Photoshop, ImageReady/Fireworks, Illustrator and Dreamweaver.
  • Thorough understanding of the elements of good design, HTML production and web process.
  • Will be held accountable for the technical accuracy of their own work.
  • Able to complete tasks independently and as part of a team.
  • Perform effectively in a demanding work environment and show resiliency to stress.''

This job board post is pointy, and even cold in places such as ''will be held accountable...'' It reads more like a warning sign than a marketing tool. It's possible that the person who wrote this had a balloon bouquet on his desk and was eating birthday cake five minutes prior. Instead, it seems more like he'd just suffered through a root canal.

Reading the ad aloud is always a good idea; better yet, let someone else read it.

Employers have plenty on their plates, and not all of them have the writing chops to produce a marketable job board ad on their own. With a little guidance and example, they'll find more quality candidate traffic and so will your website.

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Carole Oldroyd

Carole Oldroyd is a writer and graphic artist living in East Tennessee. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, LegalZoom, and numerous other magazines, websites and blogs. When she isn’t writing, she can be found restoring her historic Victorian home piece by piece.

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