Think back: When you have applied for jobs in the past, what attracted you to the position?
It could have been many things – the pay, the reputation of the company, the location of the job, fascinating work. Were you first alerted to the position by a help wanted ad or an online job posting?
I submit to you that you can get an indication of the company you are interested in by looking carefully at that ad. And I mention it here because some of us have occasion to place such postings, and I believe our success in finding just the right person is linked to the wording of that posting.
If you look at job boards, you’ll see some are extremely specific, with dozens of requirements like, “must be able to lift up to 15 pounds from the ground” and so on. Others are breezy, almost like a friend telling you about the job over coffee. What might you surmise about those two workplaces?
Now, what if you saw an ad for a writer that included misspellings, poor grammar and strange syntax? Does that seem like a place you would trust to edit your life’s work?
Of course not. …
Beyond simply making sentences that make sense, give some thought to the impression you want to leave. If you want to attract the best candidates, you want to create the impression that your workplace is an inspiring place, a place where great things happen among colleagues who enjoy working with one another. In fact, one of the first steps to creating such a workplace is envisioning it in those job ads. Rather than listing every duty no matter how menial, or harping on basic requirements, tell potential applicants about your successes. Tell them what makes your community special. Tell them you consider community journalism a pillar of a just society. Because it is. And we need the best help we can find.
Give job postings the attention they deserve.