How to Write an Enchanting Job Posting

Your job posting is often the first impression you make to a candidate. In today’s cutthroat recruiting world, a boilerplate posting with stale copy is not going to cut it. You need something that stands out from the normal drudgery, exciting the candidate and inspiring them to apply to your company.

Here are four tips to make your job posting more enchanting:

  1. It’s not a manual – it’s an ad.

I know you want to throw the kitchen sink into your job posting. Don’t do it.

We are not trying to recreate a playbook for everything minuscule activity a candidate might encounter on the job. Instead, we are simply trying to entice someone to apply to your position.

So think more marketing, less human resources. Challenge yourself to capture the essence of the position in a paragraph or so.

(And because we are now wearing marketing hats, I will use the word “job ad” in lieu of “job posting” from this moment forward. You have been warned.)

  1. Don’t be ridiculous.

Since I love alliteration I will suggest three “R” ways you can keep your job ad from being ridiculous:

  • Readable: Bullet points! White space! Short and sweet!
  • Reasonable: Do not include a laundry list of required (snuck another R word in there!) qualifications. What are the 3-5 things that someone absolutely, positively has to have?
  • Relevant: Focus on attributes versus qualifications. “3-5 years of demonstrated basket weaving experience” is rarely enough to be successful, no matter how fine the baskets. Do they need to be quirky creative? Ravenous about details? A pied piper of basket weaving best practices?

Part of this is marketing and part pure science. Studies show women and minorities will only apply to a job ad where they have 100% of the qualifications. With reasonable and relevant requirements (or more aptly named, preferences), you have a better chance of finding a more comprehensive candidate pool.

  1. This is not a frat party.

I know this has been written about excessively lately but it needs repeating until every last job ad mentioning “rockstars” and “ninjas” is obliterated from the planet. Believe it or not, half the world’s population is female. And, believe it or not, they are also interested in responding to your jobs. So eliminate the locker room language and make sure your job ad is gender neutral.

We use a tool called Textio to smoke out the inadvertent gender bias from our job ad copy. It is amazing how a few small wording tweaks can make a job ad go from polarizing to inclusive. I highly recommend trying it out.

  1. It’s not me, it’s you (the candidate).

Everyone loves talking about themselves. But job ads are not the place to do it. This is about the candidate. By interweaving questions (“Are you passionate about the latest basket weaving technologies?”) with inviting terminology (“You will create inspiring basket weaving designs”) in your job ad, you engage the candidate and encourage them to visualize themselves in the role.

Yes, you can still talk about yourself. But spin it so it is more about what the candidate can get from your company. So less “Acme Basket Corp is a Fortune 500 basket producer” and more “As a valued member of the Acme Basket team, you will be eligible for special perks such as our annual Underwater Basketweaving getaway to the Caribbean.”


At the end of the recruiting day, job ads are just another part of your employer brand. If your job ad tells your company’s story well, candidates will undoubtedly be enchanted.

What other tips do you have for writing an engaging and enticing job ad?