How to Write the Perfect Job Post

Are You Advertising for an Enthusiastic Team Player? Don’t.

How to Write the Perfect Job Post

Your calendar is booked solid. Your phone is ringing off the hook. You haven’t had a haircut in months. You’re busy.

So busy, in fact, that although you realize it’s time to hire additional talent for your growing company, you haven’t yet gotten around to it. Perhaps you’re avoiding the process, and sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss of overwhelm.  Time to put that to an end, and hire.

Whether you’re seeking a paralegal, a marketing strategist, an insurance associate or a receptionist – face it:  Finding the right employee takes time. Time you do not have. (If you had time, you’d get a haircut, right?) Clearly, you want to find the best candidate, but you also want to do so efficiently.

Let’s start with the meat of the job post.

List the concrete experience and expertise you require. Concrete experience and expertise does not mean “an enthusiastic team player who is good with people.”  Everybody considers himself an enthusiastic team player. Just like everybody thinks he has a sense of humor.

Neither is true.

Avoid fluffy and vague requirements or you’re going to get fluffy and vague applicants.

For an excellent job post you need to explicitly spell out:

  • Whether you require a degree. (Do you care if the degree is in communication, engineering or finance?)
  • How many years of experience are you demanding? Is this an entry-level job? Is it management? Does it require experience managing a team of a certain size?
  • What technology packages does the candidate need to come in knowing?  Does he or she need to hit the ground running on SalesForce, InfusionSoft, WordPress? Are you willing to train?
  • Is it a 40-hour work week or can you deal with part time, flex-time, job-sharing, telecommuting? Do you insist that everyone works in-office? Make your requirements clear.

Whether your network is extensive or small, whether you intend to plaster the internet with ads or simply send the description discretely to your colleagues therefore recruiting via referral, take the time to document your needs. Seeing them in black and white will not only help you organize your thoughts and prioritize your requirements, it will assist others in aiding you by recommending appropriate candidates.

Make a “dream list” of everything your new employee should be able to do for you right off the bat.  Then, think critically and begin crossing things off that list and determine whether these are requirements or preferences. While it might be convenient for your medical secretary to know Photoshop – is it a requirement? Is lack of fluent German really a deal breaker for a paralegal opening at your Miami-based law firm? Once you have a realistic list divided into “must  haves” and “would be nice to have”, put it into bullet format. Candidates scan job posts quickly. You need to create a description that will easily catch the eye. Use keywords that will appeal to individuals with the skill set you seek.

Think Beyond the Job Itself

Next, think about your company culture, how you work, and what you can offer your candidate (not just financially). Do you run a work-hard-play-hard firm where everyone stays until 11 p.m. and then goes out for drinks together? Include that in your job post. Is your office a family friendly environment where employees occasionally bring their kids and parent-friendly flexible schedules are offered? Include that in your job post.

The goal of an effective job post is to attract the relevant candidates and repel the ones that are not a good fit. It’s advantageous to be honest about what you offer and your expectations – even if you fear it may dissuade some candidates. If an applicant is put off by an office where everyone works until 11, he would not have been a fit for your company anyway. Save yourself the time and be honest (with yourself and your candidates) about exactly what you’re looking for. This way you won’t waste anyone’s time and you won’t have anyone wasting yours.

Weed Out Lazy

Make sure to include a link to your website as well. The right candidate will do her research by checking out your website, reading about your company and tailoring her email to you accordingly. If you have a social media presence, include links to your SM channels well. If you are looking for help with your social media presence, there is no shame in writing “We are looking to grow our social media presence – check out our Facebook and Twitter accounts and enlighten us with your ideas.” Assigning a bit of homework will also help separate the serious candidate from the casual one who is simply clicking “apply” to any ad which includes her targeted keywords.

Lastly, if you offer any benefits – dental, pension, monthly train pass, discounted Netflix account – document that as well!

Get Your Glitz On

Now that you have everything written out, it is time to come up with a snazzy title. Review the information you put together and consider what kind of candidate it speaks to – someone dynamic who will come to the table with ideas and join your at-work book club? Someone serious who will keep her head down and lunch at her desk? Consider not only the experience you need, but what type of person will fit in best.

Whichever adjective best describes the candidate you are looking for is the one you should use in your job post. “Innovative Medical Practice Seeking Dynamic Billing Coordinator” will speak to a more proactive and energetic candidate while “Mid-size Medical Practice Seeking Billing Coordinator” will speak to a more reactive and reserved candidate.

Time to lay it all out. Your job post should look like this:

 Innovative Medical Practice Seeking Dynamic Billing Coordinator

Growing, interactive gynecology practice in Purchase, New York is seeking an energetic, proactive, experienced billing coordinator to help us get our A/P and A/R in order and seek out additional financial opportunities for our company.

Candidate must have the following:

    • University degree
    • 2 years prior experience in billing
    • Proficiency in Quickbooks and Excel
    • Proven research abilities

Preference for the following:

    • Coursework in medical billing
    • 3.8 or higher University GPA
    • Proficiency in Spanish

Our dedicated staff works long hours but are well compensated for their time. We offer full dental and health benefits as well as gym membership and reimbursement for transportation costs.

Please visit our website: to learn more about us.

Qualified candidates should please send their resume and a brief email introducing themselves and their experience to:

See? Not so hard! Clear, to the point and honest.

A well-written, specific ad like this should attract appropriate candidates in no time. In my next post, I will discuss what to do once the resumes start coming in – how to review a resume, comparing candidates, and major red flags to look out for (when to run away screaming).

Stay tuned!

Submitted by Alyssa