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Why Quality Candidates Are Turned Off By Your Job Description

Quality candidates are hard to find, so don’t make it harder on yourself by writing an uncompelling job description.

Why Quality Candidates Are Turned Off By Your Job Description
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For small business owners, each new hire is an extension of you and your brand. This is especially true for care professionals, whose customers and clients are entrusting their pets, homes, and family members to you and your staff.

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Its easier than ever to find candidates, with the new job boards popping up just about every day. But that doesn’t mean it’s easier than ever to find the right candidates. Posting a job online is like casting a line out into the ocean. Without the right bait, there’s no telling what you’re going to reel in.

Here are five common mistakes made in online job descriptions that attract the wrong applicants–and what you can do to avoid making them.


Related: How To Use Your Emotional Intelligence To Rewrite Your Job Description


1. Your Description Was A Novel

I don’t know about you, but i don’t read emails unless they’re short–or have bold words. Think of job descriptions the same way. Don’t write more than four sentences about the job, highlight a few things they’ll be doing, and use bullet points. Keep it short to keep a reader’s full attention–you’ll have plenty of time to explain the details after they apply.

2. The Job Title Was Weird

Don’t use some fancy name to make the job sound awesome. You only run the risk that potential applicants won’t understand what the job actually entails. Use simple terms or keywords to grab the right applicant’s attention. 

That doesn’t mean you need to be boring. You can still spice the title up a little to make it stand out. Think: Calling all awesome CNAs. This still uses familiar, industry-related terms that convey the job description and responsibilities.

3. You Showcased The Pay Rate

This classic move makes almost all applicants close the ad immediately (unless of course, you offer way more than your competitors). Don’t give the pay rate before you actually chat with an applicant. Once you explain your culture and other perks to the job, you become more attractive, and the applicant will be able to evaluate all aspects of the job.

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Related: No One Wants To Work For You, And These Three Words Are Why


4. Your Job Was Cookie Cutter

Its hard to write a great unique job description, but nothing worth doing is ever easy. Don’t just quickly come up with a generic job description. A bundle of buzzwords in a cookie-cutter description like, “looking for a team player” and “great attention to detail and communication skills,” could mean anything!

Be short, be bold, and be different. If it’s a job that almost every company like yours has, go beyond summing up daily duties, and give applicants a reason why they should want to work for you. Tout the differences that make you great, like flexible scheduling and energetic company culture.

5. You Didn’t Have A Game Plan For What’s Next

Of course the “apply now” button is pretty obvious, but where does it lead? What if applicants have additional questions? What happens after they apply? How do they know their application made it to you? Make sure you include a real person’s name and phone number in your job post. That way, applicants have an idea about where to go next.

And when you get applicants–whether good or bad–don’t leave them hanging. Drop them a line either way, so they can sleep at night.


This article originally appeared on Glassdoor and is reprinted with permission.