The Job Posting:

Last week we talked about generating a list of tasks to be done and a list of skills a new employee should have.  You’ve got the list of tasks and skills ready, right?  Great!  Now to compose a job posting to attract qualified applicants.  If you don’t include enough information, you risk a flood of responses from unqualified people.  The best job postings are specific, informative, and easy to read.  You can break it into segments and present it like this:

Job Title

This is like the subject line of an email.  It’s the first thing applicants will see.  This headline should give applicants a general idea of the job in 4-8 words.

Note: Writing in all capital letters is the equivalent of yelling on paper and should be avoided.

About Your Company

Two sentences to describe your company will give applicants an idea of who you are and what your values are. You can provide a link to your company’s website.

The Job

In a few sentences, describe the job and the type of person you are looking for as clearly and specifically as possible.  Things to include:

  • Whether position is full time, part time, or contracted
  • Location and approximate hours
  • Describe what the employee will do at this job (use your list of tasks to write this!)

Note: You can use bold, underline, or italicize to draw attention to key words.

Note: You can use bullet points to separate information and make it easier to read.

The Skills

Here you can make a list (hooray for the skills list you already made!) of the skills potential applicants should have.  Actually, make two lists: Required Qualifications and Additional Preferred Qualifications (Must-Haves and It-Would-Be-Nice-to-Have).

Note: If you require employees to prove work eligibility, list it as required.

Note: As you describe the applicant you’re looking to hire, be careful not to discriminate on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or national origin.  More information about what you can and cannot say is available from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

How to Apply

Give applicants a set of instructions to follow.  This will help you weed out people who don’t follow directions.  You may say something like, “When applying, please include your full name, address, telephone number and email address.  Include your resume as an email attachment.”

Once you’ve composed the job posting, set it aside and reread it later.  Let someone else read it too, just to make sure that your ideas are clear and easy to read.  When you’re satisfied with it, get it out there!  You may want to post it on Craigslist,, in the local newspaper, or at the local paint store.

Next week: Interviewing candidates!