How to write job postings that compel candidates to click


There’s more than one reason why some companies struggle to get enough application flow while other companies don’t.

But the top reason has got to be the job descriptions the company posts when it’s looking to hire!

Most of the postings you’ll see on Indeed, Monster and similar online sites really do nothing to engage candidates, sell them on the opportunity, or encourage anyone to apply.

So, what if we told you there’s a way to create more powerful and engaging job postings that motivate candidates to click?

By following a method like this, you’ll find yourself writing job postings that will persuade people to apply.

Here’s how to write powerful job postings that people can’t help but click.

Download Creating a “You Sandwich”: 5 Steps to a Great Job Posting


Understanding the difference: Job Descriptions vs Job Postings

At their core, job descriptions and postings serve very different purposes. In addition, they look, sound and act differently — or at least, they should.


A job description is a formal document used by Human Resource departments. It covers all the accountabilities, responsibilities and qualifications of the open position. It is comprehensive; contains legal, compliance and other corporate language; and is an internal record.

When a need is first identified, Human Resources and the Hiring Manager will work together to create a job description for the role. That’s why it’s not uncommon to see a job description rather than a job posting online.

But that’s not where they belong.

A job posting, on the other hand, is a communication tool that is outward facing. It is placed on your website and is designed to capture the attention of active and passive job seekers, engage them, and ultimately convert them to job applicants.

Here’s the thing. If you are using job descriptions instead of well-crafted job postings on your website, you are likely missing out on connecting with top-tier candidates.

Most Talent Acquisition leaders understand their job postings could use some work. And considering the investment being made to post these jobs on third party sites, all would agree that these posts should be engaging MORE OF THE RIGHT CANDIDATES to apply.

The problem? They have no idea where to start. Writing a great job posting takes thinking like a candidate.   

Many believe the answer is to create an online posting template within the ATS that uses boilerplate brand messaging in an attempt to make their job descriptions more compelling to their intended audience online. But that option doesn’t help engage with your audience or connect any better with candidates. The reason they don’t engage is that a job description doesn’t belong online. A job posting does.

The good news is that if you stick to the formulas in this article, you can create the kind of compelling story about your positions that will maximize the drawing power of your job posting and your investment.

The first formula you need to know about is what I like to call the “You Sandwich.” It’s the secret sauce that makes your job postings engaging.


The “You Sandwich” Formula

Eighty-eight percent of consumers pre-research their buys online before making a purchase either online or in-store. You can bet your candidates exhibit the same consumer behavior, “shopping” for a career and conducting pre-search to inform their “buying”’ decision.

Creating a job post that lets your candidate see themselves in the role and connecting with them in a personal way helps compel them to act. It makes them hungry to take on the opportunity, so they apply.

When you use a job description rather than crafting a job posting, there’s just nothing for a candidate to sink their teeth into. It is hard for a candidate to picture themselves as a valuable contributor to the company’s mission if they are reading a list of duties and requirements rather than a description of the role and how they can fulfill furthering the company’s goals.

That’s how a great job post helps candidates connect with your brand and your opportunity in a personal way.

Learn the steps to creating the perfect You Sandwich for your role when you download Creating a “You Sandwich”: 5 Steps to a Great Job Postings

When combined with the following tips, creating a “You Sandwich” is a tried-and-true strategy for creating a compelling and click-able job posting:New call-to-action

  • Begin with your official job description (internal HR doc) and edit it liberally.
    Edit it down to include only the information that concisely describes the role and what the role is responsible to accomplish. Many of the day-to-day duties of the role are not important for the candidate to know at this point in their decision-making process.

    Also, when it comes to job requirements, make sure you keep them high-level and limited to specific skills (such as programs the candidate must know) to make sure you get a better and more diverse candidate pool. Why? Studies show that men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. 
  • Use the best job title.
    Your internal job description will include the title of the job. But that title may not be best for recruiting candidates outside of your organization.

    Make sure the job title in your posting is one that a potential job seeker would use to do a general search. Over 70 percent of job searches start on Google, so start your research there. If the jobs that come up when you search using your title don’t remotely come close to your position, then find one that does.  

Want more information? Read “Not enough applicant flow? Blame your job posting.”

  • Emphasize attraction points.
    Ask yourself: Would you rather read a dry listing of responsibilities and qualifications — or — a message that has some life and enthusiasm to it?

    The best job postings come across as authentic. They come from companies excited to tell readers about such candidate-centric attraction points as their awesome work environment, their close-knit team, the way they nurture new employees, their industry-leading benefits and other elements that surprise and delight. Don’t be afraid to brag if you can back up what you say.
  • Brand. Brand. Brand.
    One of the surest ways to put together an effective job posting is to use the power of your employer brand. Your employer brand and EVP (Employee Value Proposition) were specifically written to market all that your company is (its vision, values, culture, mission, etc.) to both job candidates and existing employees. Use that language in your postings. Not only will this make your message more compelling, it will provide a consistent candidate experience to those who may have already engaged with your employer brand elsewhere.
  • Brevity rules.
    In job postings, more is not better. The trick is to not cram everything about the job into your posting — but to say the right things, and do so in a manner that invites candidates to connect to your company.

Your relationship with your candidate often begins with the job posting. If it reads like it was written to serve a process, rather than speak to a person, chances are they’ll go elsewhere. Let your candidates know that answering your posting is worth their investment in time by investing yours in the right message.

Do you know what it takes to drive better engagement with your candidates and employees? Talk with the experts at Newton Talent and learn how we can help you build and implement the right strategy for your company. Connect with us.

Written by Patty Silbert

President of Newton Talent since 2018, Patty Silbert has over 30 years of experience developing the innovative solutions that help HR professionals just like you meet their most pressing recruitment challenges and their companies achieve their talent acquisition goals. She is a regular writer and speaker on the subjects of recruitment strategy, employment branding, HR technology, and leadership.