Friday, November 2, 2012

Get 10 times the Applications with the Right Job Description


Current wisdom recommends telling a story when you are pitching your startup.

The Best Technical Story Teller of them All: Steve Jobs

The same can be said for successful engineering job postings. Having observed the results of hundreds of descriptions in at least ten channels, the clearly most successful was very descriptive, conversational and story-like. 

A story has a beginning, middle and end. The beginning of a story needs to hook the reader in the first few paragraphs and get them interested in your company and position. The beginning of a job post is the title.

The Title is crucial to standing out. There are 5,778 "software engineer" jobs in Boston listed on indeed today.  Most of those roles are simply described as "software engineer". Some include a buzzword such as PHP etc..  Compare that to the aforementioned job title that performed the best in my experience  "Progressive Non-Dogmatic Software Engineer"It is evident which title will attract more attention and provoke further exploration.


The main copy of your job posting should create an authentic picture of your company and culture. Rather than dryly list a buzzword laden description in bullet form, try a more conversational style. It helps to explain the big picture problem you are solving as well as some detail about the work. 

Check out this example from Square in SF to get the idea: We use HTML5, CSS, Ruby and Java to craft the most delightful web experiences possible. We track engagement, design every last detail, and build with bleeding-edge technology daily. Our innovative interfaces give sellers greater insight into their business and help buyers connect with the things they love.   

The end should wrap up with a blurb about your culture or work environment. If you have an engineering blog, include a link to it. And lastly don't forget to add a call to action to apply.

What do you think? Do you have examples of job postings that have performed well and do you agree with this article.  I would love to hear about your experience in the comments.

photo credit: by Ianus Keller


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