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How to write an effective job posting

Be clear and upfront with the position.

Courtesy. MBJ Group co-owners Mary Jane and Jim Bos say being upfront with information, including salary, is a key to a good job posting.
Courtesy. MBJ Group co-owners Mary Jane and Jim Bos say being upfront with information, including salary, is a key to a good job posting.
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When you advertise for an open position at your company, your best-case scenario likely goes something like this: You receive a manageable amount of interest from truly qualified candidates in a reasonably short timeframe.

So how can you up the chances of turning that ideal into reality? It starts by making sure the right candidates can find your job posting. And a lot of that stems from using both the key words and job titles candidates plug in when they search.

“Look at other companies in the same industry to make sure your job titles are in line,” says Jocelyn Pilkington, senior human resources business partner at east Manatee County-based University Park-based Benderson Development Co., one of the largest builders in the region. “You have to think about it from a job seeker’s perspective. Someone looking for a position is more likely to type in that industry-standard title. If the titles you use aren’t common, it’s going to be harder for people to find your posting.”

Another tip: Give candidates enough information to assess if they’re a good match for the position — but not so much that they get overwhelmed. When Sarasota talent management company MBJ Group is advertising for a position, it creates a one-paragraph summary for the job posting then links to the full job description where serious candidates can get more information.

“If someone is truly interested, and we’ve caught them in that first paragraph, then they’ll read the job description,” MBJ Group co-Owner Jim Bos says. “And if they don’t like [the summary], they’ll move on.”

MBJ Group believes it’s important to be upfront about salary in a job posting. “I’m pretty transparent; I want that salary range right there,” co-Owner Mary Beth Bos says. “I get frustrated when I see postings that say give us your salary requirement, and the candidate has no clue what the range is.”

If your job posting isn’t getting the response you want, some changes might be necessary. “If you’re getting applicants with backgrounds that don’t align with the position, tweak some of the verbiage, so you’re attracting the right people,” Pilkington says.

And that may come with another upside. “A lot of times when you make changes to a posting, it reflects on a job board as being more recently posted,” Pilkington says. “So if your ranking increases, that’s an added benefit.”


Being better in business sometimes requires a road map to figure out some thorny issues. Click the links below to read more from the Business Observer’s annual how-to guide:


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