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Are you having trouble getting applicants to apply to, let alone read, your developer job listing? If so, it might be time to start paying more attention to your spelling and grammar when writing your job ads. It sounds simple enough, but it’s amazing how many public postings or recruitment e-mails are filled with mistakes. Spelling errors and the overuse of jargon aren’t just annoying; they could be costing you good technical candidates.

In a study by Monster, three-quarters of respondents said they regularly see jargon or acronyms while searching for jobs and over half (57%) say this puts them off from applying. Similarly, almost a quarter (23%) of respondents said they were shocked by the number of spelling mistakes in job listings they come across, particularly in jobs that cite things like “attention to detail” in their requirements.

Not taking the time to proofread your job listing reflects poorly on your company. It makes you look lazy, appear unprofessional, and gives the candidate the impression that you don’t really care all that much about the quality of people you’re hiring. Here are a few tips to ensure that your tech job listings are written correctly.

Limit your use of acronyms.

Using too many acronyms – or those that aren’t widely recognized – is often one of the largest mistakes people make in technical job listings. Mark Frietch, President of Frietch Consulting, recommends making sure you always spell out the acronym the first time since too many acronyms have duplicate meanings and can confuse the reader. Make sure the acronym is used externally as well – an internal acronym that only your company uses isn’t going to make any sense to the candidate applying.

Have some knowledge of the technical terms.

Nothing is worse for a developer than reading a job listing or recruiting e-mail that contain misspellings of a various programming languages. It shows that you haven’t done your research, you don’t know what you’re talking about, and eliminates any credibility you once had. If you don’t know the difference between Java and JavaScript, why would a developer want to work for your company?

One of our developers here at Stack Overflow mentioned that seeing “J Query” in job listings drives him nuts (hint: it’s jQuery), while another told a story of a phone call he had with a recruiter who pronounced C# as “C pound”. Insert eye roll here. 

Put your listing through a proofreader. Twice.

After writing the job listing and looking it over yourself, it’s time to enlist the help of others. First, put the listing through a basic spelling and grammar checker (there are a ton of free or affordable apps that do this, such as Grammarly). Then – and this is the most important part – put the listing through a human proofreader. Proofreading software doesn’t all mistakes in job listings, so it’s best to have a second (or third or fourth) set of eyes on it before hitting “publish”.

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