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The perfect hire is out there, but you need to attract them to your business. What better way to do that than with a well-crafted job posting? — Getty Images/fizkes

Job seekers spend an average of 11 hours a week looking for a new job, reading career sites, clicking on open positions and evaluating job descriptions. Inevitably, job postings start to blur together as descriptions and lists of qualifications tend to be repetitive.

If first impressions are everything, the job posting is your chance to make a great first impression. A well-crafted job posting entices top candidates to apply for your open roles. It’s critical in a competitive hiring market and important for hiring and retaining strong employees all the time.

Here’s how to create a job posting that stands out from the crowd.

[Read more: Talent Recruiters' Insider Tips for Finding Talent in a Tough Hiring Market]

Write a strong headline

The headline of the job description is usually the job title or a phrase that identifies the position for which you are hiring. Try to use keywords that a candidate is likely to use when searching for your role, as well as a familiar title. While catchy phrases like “Rock Star Sales Rep” may seem appealing, it’s going to be difficult for search engines to parse your job posting and show it to the right candidates. Avoid using uncommon words in your job title and stick to titles that are recognizable.

Consider customizing your headline to stand out. For instance, rather than simply writing “Sales Representative,” consider “Sales Representative at Fast-Paced E-Commerce Company.”

[Read more: Executive Job Titles: What Do They Mean?]

Provide a summary

A short summary should follow your headline and include a brief description of your company and what makes it unique. Use this space to make your organization come to life. Include things like your mission statement, your backstory as a small business or a short description of your product or service. If you’ve done any work to create an employer brand, make sure this summary matches those marketing materials.

List the role’s responsibilities

This section is an overview of the role’s day-to-day activities. Keep this high level and limit the section to five to seven bullet points. Rather, describe how the position can contribute to key business objectives.

Benefits and salary are two major things candidates will look for when deciding whether or not to apply for a job.

Include the position requirements

Requirements are the “must-have” skills an applicant needs to do the job. Leave the “nice-to-have” skills for other parts of the hiring process. Here, you want to focus only on the most pertinent skills. This is because research has found that women are unlikely to apply unless they meet 100% of the requirements. Listing endless qualifications could cause you to scare off perfectly well-qualified candidates who are intimidated by the requirements.

Likewise, avoid using jargon or other language that could intimidate candidates from applying. The Gender Decoder can help you strip biased words from your job description. Keep your requirements realistic and appropriate for the level at which you are hiring.

Share the benefits

Benefits and salary are two major things candidates will look for when deciding whether or not to apply for a job. Millennials, in particular, have proven to show interest in benefits packages that go beyond basic compensation and health insurance. This is a good place to make sure your small business passion really shines through. Be specific about perks, whether it’s Friday afternoons off or free bagels in the morning. Opportunities for advancement may also be the thing that sets you apart from other companies.

Don’t forget to include specific instructions for filling out an application. If you’re using a job board, make sure the description clearly states how to get in touch and what materials need to be submitted for consideration. If you’re using your native website, include a big “Apply Here” button where someone can fill out a form and send in their interest. You might be surprised how many business owners forget this key step!

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published February 03, 2022