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A Tale of 1,000 Job Postings
I was excited. Just that morning, my builder called. “We can officially schedule closing for Friday.” I was excited as I prepared for my 1-1 with my manager. I casually wrote a note to myself about a chair I wanted to buy across the top of the blank note page next to my laptop.
The second he dialed in, I just knew something was wrong. There was uncertainty in the hello. His contagious joy was gone. While no part of me was expecting what he said next, I knew it was bad news.
“We’re doing layoffs, and your last day will be next Friday.”
I didn’t expect the news to be that bad, or that poorly timed. I certainly didn’t expect it to feel life-shattering. I had been laid-off before, but this was different. There was a lot more on the line.
I didn’t have time to bend and certainly not to break. There was too much on the line. I needed a job, and a paycheck before my first mortgage payment was due.
I’ll never forget that feeling of desperation. The panic as I read job postings that felt so generic, ignorant, and impractical. They said a lot without saying anything at all, and it felt unfair.
Fast-forward eight years. I was standing in that very house shortly after the launch of my company, Three Ears Media. I told that exact story and then offered to rewrite job postings for free. After all those years, I never forgot what it felt like or how their words stung, how it made me feel when so much was on the line.
Then a hundred people asked me to write their job postings.
And another hundred.
I ended up helping over 1,000 people rewrite their job postings.
Then, COVID happened. It was like all those feelings of loss, grief, and fear after my layoff came back. Friends and family were laid off, and with every question, it took me back to that helpless feeling. I wanted to help, but I didn’t know what to do.
That’s when my light bulb moment hit.
All of those job postings I’ve been writing are the key to helping candidates get hired. But both sides of the equation have to evolve to make that happen. To help, I pulled together this video with tips both candidates and hiring leaders can use to translate the job posting into a hiring advantage.
3 Tips for Job Posting Success
After helping so many people write job postings and reading so many bad postings throughout my job search — some lessons can help — as a candidate and a hiring leader.
1. Don’t Guess the Job Title
Just because they call your open job role one thing at your company, doesn’t mean that title is universal. Research the best job title and use the relevant title that gets the most search traffic on your job posting.
2. Figure Out What’s Most Important
By far, the question I get most often is this: How do I know what to say in my job posting? When writing your posting, paste a transcript of the hiring manager intake meeting into a free word cloud generator. This tool will count and identify the most frequently used keywords. Why? Subconsciously, hiring teams will mention the keywords they search. You have to know how to decipher the code.
3. Watch Out for Buzzwords
If your job posting reads more like an over-the-top ad and less like a job, that’s a red flag. Include impactful and measurable tasks, and avoid listing unrealistic perks that might make candidates skeptical.