Even the most experienced writers can be intimidated by a blank page. And hey, sometimes that’s not a bad thing. When you’re trying to create a tech job listing, it’s natural to put a lot of pressure on yourself to say exactly the right things that will make developers want to apply. However, employers often take an aggressive approach to writing job listings that stand out amongst the competition—and the results are not always pretty. To help you avoid some surprisingly common job listing mistakes, here are a few things to avoid.
There’s a lot to be said about the importance of using your company's employer brand to your advantage, especially when it comes to writing tech job listings. The problem is that while many listings describe the company’s unique culture and benefits, they often don't tell enough of a story about why the actual job is exciting. Although your organization's personality should come through in the copy, be careful about how you utilize your company’s unique voice to your job listings. If there isn’t enough information about the opportunity, developers will quickly move on to something else that might not be as quirky, but ultimately sounds more interesting.
It’s no secret that developers don’t spend a lot of time reading job descriptions. They have busy schedules that don’t leave them with a lot of time to comb through a job listing and determine if it sounds interesting. You might take this reality to mean that you should focus on writing a solid list of requirements, or you might try to tell an attention-grabbing story in the description of the role. Those are good initial thoughts, but that doesn’t mean the opening statement is a mere throwaway. Just like the best novelists agonize over the first sentence of a book, you should carefully consider how much (or little) the opening statement of your tech job listings make developers want to learn more. If your first sentence is dry or uninviting, you’ll probably miss out on talented candidates who have a tendency to read the first sentence or two before moving on to something else.
You’ve probably lost count of how many times people have told you that if developers think your job title is boring, they probably won’t click to read more. The knee-jerk reaction to this is often to add a little pizazz to give candidates a clear picture of how exciting your opportunity should be to a developer. This isn’t necessarily a bad strategy, but it’s important to understand that if a job title is too long, it ultimately won’t matter how exciting it sounds. Appcast.io recently conducted a study that found that job titles that are 50-60 characters long outperform other titles by 30 to 40 percent. Don’t be afraid to add a little personality to your job titles, but keep a letter counter handy whenever you’re crafting one.