A job description and a job posting are similar but not the same.

A job description is an internal document that captures the responsibilities, authority, complexity, judgment and working conditions associated with that job. A job posting is an advertisement meant to attract job applicants. The posting should be a trimmed-down, jazzed-up version of the description. Your job posting should make both the job and your organization stand out by appealing to the interests and preferences of the specific people you want to attract.

What should the job posting include?

At the minimum, the job posting should include the following:

  • Job title
  • Job location
  • List and/or summary of main responsibilities
  • List of key qualifications, including the required levels of education, experience and skills
  • Instructions on how to apply

How to make your job posting stand out

Follow these tips to create a notable job posting:

Basic criteria

  • Make the posting easy to read as candidates will often skim read and you need to keep their attention
  • Take advantage of every opportunity to present a professional, consistent and compelling message to potential applicants. Ensure you cover the general content provided in job description
  • Use HTML, bullet points, italics, boldface, paragraph breaks and other formatting to make the posting attractive and reader-friendly and to highlight key points
  • Avoid jargon or abbreviations that may be specific to your company (and not understood by a wider audience)

Tips to catch your job applicant’s attention

  • If you believe your organization’s corporate culture is a selling point, write it into the job posting
  • If you offer a great benefits package, profit-sharing or other perks, mention them
  • If you have anything unusual or creative that sheds light on your startup’s culture, mention it (e.g., a slide in the staff lounge, a full-size theatre screen for testing video games)
  • Wherever possible, include your company logo in your job posting to enhance your branding and add credibility

Make your job posting cater to online search

Online job sites and social media allow job-seekers to search with keywords such as location, skills and job title, or to filter results by the date posted. Every job site works differently, so make sure you comply with the requirements of the site.

It may be beneficial to associate your job posting with multiple industry categories to broaden the range of candidates who see it.

It’s a good idea to copy details such as the job title, location and start date into the body of the posting to ensure that all the possible information is captured for those who might be searching.

If you use acronyms, spell them out. For example, someone with quality assurance experience might search “quality assurance,” or “QA.” Either way, you want your job posting to show up in their search results.