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5 Tips to Attract the Right Candidate with Your Job Posting

October 29, 2012

By: Carletta Clyatt

How to attract the right job’re trying to attract just the right job candidate to fill your open position, and you post your ad for an Account Manager.  A short time later, you got a pile of responses from people with experience ranging from bookkeeper to zoo keeper…what happened?

Advertising for open positions can be tricky.  How much do you need to put in your ad? How do you get qualified candidates?

You want a good selection of promising candidates, but you don't want to wade through hundreds of badly matched resumes to get them. So how do you hit that balance?


Here are a few tips that should keep you from drowning under a wave of bad applications:

1. Advertise what the person will do, not what they will be called

These are the days of Sanitation Engineers, Happiness Monitors and Marketing Dynamos, and hey, everyone likes having a cool title. But for the sake of your HR team’s sanity, you might want to save the awesome monikers for internal use. If your Account Executive will be a sales representative, your Finance Liaison will do payroll, or your Smile Manager will be a receptionist, you'll want to make that clear right away in your job posting. Otherwise, you’ll be frustrated tossing away resumes from CSRs, brokers and amusement park employees. You could also miss out on the right candidates who didn't find your posting when doing key-word searches on job sites. It's great for the job to be challenging, but finding the posting for it shouldn't be.

2. Provide a succinct job description

You don’t need to mention the monthly pen audit or the semi-annual balloon wrangling. Think about what you really need this person to do, and choose their top 3-5 duties for the posting.

3. Use simple language

And don't assume that doing so will result in simple-minded applicants. You are in a hurry; job seekers are in a hurry; there’s no need to drag out a thesaurus for this. Besides, no matter how eloquent it sounds to say "Assists and collaborates in the collection, gathering a distribution of documents, papers and memoranda to various collation and separation locations according to a predetermined, arranged system of distribution," it still means, "Filing"

4. Make your requirements clear

Decide on a short list of must-haves for the role and give them their own section in your posting. Include training, knowledge, experience, traits or whatever is most important to you. Make sure people know not to apply if they don't have them.

5. But, don't make your requirements too restrictive

A smart, capable service provider can do just as well in the banking industry as insurance, and someone with technical prowess might quickly learn your computer system even if they have no experience in it. Don’t turn away a regionally renowned sales representative because she doesn't know how to use WordStar.

 If all else fails, place an ad for a Ninja.  At least you know the applicants will be cool… even if you never see them.

Carletta Clyatt

Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group. She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, weaknesses and behaviors. For more information about employee behavioral assessments, call Carletta at 813-280-3026 or email:

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