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How to make your job posting stand out

Jan 05, 2022 — By Igor Krasnik

The world is overloaded by the tech companies. More and more startups launched every year. VCs struggle to find the best startups to invest, while startups fight for the best talent.

Job posting is an essential part of your company's HR brand. It’s likely the first piece of information about your company that your future teammate will see.

Potential coworkers meet your company’s vision, culture, achievements through a job. The more generic and the less inspiring your job description — the less likely you attract the right talent.

I’ll show you how to grab attention and attract the qualified creative talent to your company.

About the author

My name is Igor. I’m CTO in Paralect, 160-people startup studio. I interviewed more than 100 people in various roles: engineers, product managers, designers, HRs and more.

Around a year ago, I was searching for a product manager but couldn’t find any good candidate during 6+ months. Later I came up with the job description that helped me to find great candidates and hire in just a few weeks!

It made me think serious about the detailed jobs descriptions and spend more time on quality job openings.

I’ll show how I built a recent Paralect's job posting — “Node.JS Developer”. I will include actionable advice so you can use for your own page.

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This article will be useful for startups at any stage. It will help to attract high demand specialists.

Even though my example describes a technical role, you can apply the advice to other roles.

Let's go!

The plan for your next job opening:

  1. Start with a catchy banner/visual
  2. Introduce the head of the department
  3. Briefly expose company culture
  4. Describe your existing experience
  5. Express your opinion on the future of the job
  6. Explain required skills
  7. Guide how to learn required skills
  8. Specify responsibilities
  9. Add the growth opportunities outside the daily routine
  10. Finish with call to action

And here’s what I came up with 👇

1. Start with a catchy banner/visual

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Banner immediately adds a personal touch to the job posting.

Use existing company visuals, find an image in google, come up with your own illustration. But keep it personal, warm and distinguishing.

It should fit your job, not everyone else.

Visuals are important, so take your time to find one for your job. But don’t overcomplicate — keep it simple. Look at mine banner, it’s stupid simple. Just a piece of some weird javascript with emoji and job title.

💡

Use a simple visual banner that will present both your company and the job opening. Don’t use generic images — make sure it fits your job post and doesn’t fit your competitors post.

2. Introduce the head of the department

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Hey, it’s me!

I briefly introduce myself and the attitude I’m looking for.

  1. I’ve added a video of myself waving. Photo speaks 10x more than text. Video speaks 10x more than photo. It’s like async acquaintance with me. The candidate can assume that I’m a chill and open person. Note that I didn’t add a professional recording here — I quickly did a webcam recording. I want candidates to relate with me as a person.
  2. I’m mentioning who I looking for. I value can-do attitude, practical and knowledgeable people, who play well in the team.
  3. I left a tiny clickbait, telling that “I don’t really like React” (the most popular frontend framework) to expose my personality and opinion.

💡

• Use photos and videos of people from your company. Show their names. • Add personal facts about a searcher. Relate with a reader. • Don’t seek for ultra high quality, stay real. • Add a hook to show later on the page / during the interview. • Be concise — don’t overwhelm the page with an intro and filler words.

⚠️

This small piece of page considered as risky by many companies. What if candidates won’t like me, the length of my hair, flamingo picture? What if they hatefully punch their monitor as soon as they see I don’t like React? That’s totally okay for me though! Search for like-minded passionate people rather than specialists you can’t communicate with.

3. Briefly expose company culture

I’m proceeding with the hiring video.

It’s funny, light and entertaining. What’s better — it shows the vibe in our company.

Chances are you don’t have such a video yet.

Add photo of your team, video from your last party, visual from your website.

Don’t have anything? Record a short webcam video with the leaders of your company. You don’t need HD quality, you need people that willing to share your mission — better focus on that.

Or just put your mission with plain text. But make it vocal and distinguishable from your competitors.

💡

Show how’s your company is different from others in few sentences / images / video.

4. Describe your existing experience

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By now the reader knows some context about the company. It’s time to share why we’re good in JavaScript at the first place.

Let’s think why...

So we’ve been working for years with the JS. We’re working with cross-platform JS, from server, mobile to IOT. And also we love MongoDB. And we have so many talented developers to work with. And we educate people. Oh, and Paralect was founded and run by engineers, it counts too.

I’ve went through all these blurry thoughts and extracted the clear details that you see above.

If you hire a new role and don’t have any achievements yet — no worries. Tell how you get there, why you need this role and how you struggle with solving it right now.

💡

• Add detailed specifics: numbers, years, links • Avoid vague phrases like “we’re great experts in X”, “we’ve built so many things”. What make you expert? What things have you built exactly? • Tell a story about the evolution of you company

5. Express your opinion on the future of the job

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Technology moves quickly. Tools become popular and then irrelevant within months.

Why we still working with JavaScript? Is it by an accident or was it a firm decision? Will we need JS engineers in the future? If not, what will be the future?

Your opinion shows that you’re serious and passionate about the job subject. It’s important for your company, so it’s likely a great place to grow.

I’m ending the block with a direct conclusion. You assume that a reader understand you, but saying your thought directly add clarity.

💡

• Share context directly, don’t force your reader guess conclusions. • Support future vision with the links and external opinions

6. Explain required skills

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For every required skill, I’ve added specifics about what do we look for exactly. Candidates will understand the level of expertise required and can prepare better for an interview.

You see, those descriptions weren’t just copied from some “best jobs descriptions” site. I couldn’t come up with these specifics without an actual expertise.

💡

Select ~5 major skills but add relevant professional specifics. Don’t try to impress by listing 20 skills you’re not aware of yourself. Keep the requirements relevant to your job opening and explain what exactly you need.

💜

I’ve intentionally kept the requirements difficult. My hypothesis is: it’ll scare someone with basic skills and no passion. But talented engineers will be excited to challenge themselves and see what it takes to get there. Here’s my story. Around 9 years ago I saw the Paralect’s job posting. At first I was afraid to apply as it was so strict. But it also was so damn attractive, so I did apply. It was the best interview with complicated non-trivial questions. And it was a complete failure for me, after a series of interviews in other companies where I was doing great. 9 years later, I’m still here, writing this article.

7. Guide how to learn required skills

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At this point, a reader may be interested to apply, but they can be worried that they skills don’t much.

Share the list of valuable articles and resources that will allow curious candidates to get up to speed and apply.

This is an important expert part of the job posting. If someone finds an article useful they’ll go back to this page later.

This section keeps the page live.

💡

• Share your knowledge to engage your candidates with education • List relevant articles, videos, books you appreciate and recommend offline • Include roadmap to get to your desired skills

8. Specify responsibilities

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By now candidate is aware about you and the company. They know you’re an expert and they know the skills you require.

Now how they’ll be applying the skills?

In our case, we’re looking for people for multiple products that we build. I show a short demo for all products — screenshot, description and challenges.

💡

• Show projects details: photo, GIFs, video demos, links • Show daily challenges and global issues • Tell how you solve the issues now • Explain what candidate is supposed (and not supposed) to do

9. Add the growth opportunities outside the projects

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Curious people not only think about today — they plan their lives ahead.

Show how candidates will benefit from working with you, outside of their daily routine.

Paralect strives to provide a platform for creators for building their personal brands. We want our team to publish their knowledge, we want new candidates to publish more, we want to keep focus on that.

That’s why I chose the personal brand as the main benefit outside the daily responsibilities. I spent some time to add details and our accomplishments. I’ve specified what a public brand means for us by using our existing publications.

I’ve added 3 videos about Paralect team; 3 workshop videos; 3 blog articles.

3 different mediums, all about public brand.

10. Finish with call to action

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Your job page is a sales page. It sells an interview with your company to readers.

And every sales page should end up with call to action.

Even if you think it’s obvious how to apply — show them how to proceed.

In our case it’s a huge link ‘Apply Here’ that opens a Typeform application.

If they need to clarify something, we also share the contacts of our recruiter, Lera. We also added her photo to let candidates know she’s a real human too.

If they don’t want to apply for some reason, but liked the page itself, we ask to share the page with their friends who can qualify. I also added an old meme so reader knows how desperately old I am.

That’s it!

A good quality content takes time and experience to build.

It requires analysis, writing, designing, creativity. And time again.

Get to your goal step by step, analyze your results and improve further.

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I’m posting on technology, product management, growing a company and exploring creativity.

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Thank you and have a good day ahead!