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How to Write Killer IT Job Postings

By Eliassen Group
Mar 30, 2016 2:00:00 PM

IT Job seekers look at hundreds of career postings during their job search.  Because of this they don’t spend much time looking at a particular posting to determine if the position is right for them or not.  According to research done by TheLadders, job seekers spend an average of 49.7 seconds before deciding a job isn’t right for them, and an average of 76.7 seconds if they feel the job is something they are interested in.

In the same study by The Ladders for which they used eye-tracking technology and heat maps, they found that IT and technical job seekers spent the majority of their time with a specific job posting looking at the top pieces of information, just skimming the bottom portion of the listing. This gives further credence to the fact that brief, concise, impactful job postings are a critical component of your hiring strategy. Inc.’s 6 Secrets to Writing the Perfect Job Description recommends 400-800 words maximum with a dependency on the complexity of the role.

At Eliassen Group, we’ve also noticed that a number of IT consultants jump at positions simply based upon their specialty key word title and a geo location within easy commuting distance. This shotgun approach to applying for technology positions results in a high number of resumes that do not meet the job criteria our IT staffing agency is looking to fill.

In order to ensure that your posting effectively captures the attention of job seekers, you need to make sure that the key details are front and center and easily found.  Here at Eliassen Group, we suggest bolding these details, listing them in easy-to-find bullets, and building them into a concise posting that can be scanned.

Here are the six components that you must address:

1. Who is hiring? The hiring company must be front and center. This info can be listed right under the title or at the end of the post in a tag paragraph. It can help to bold the company name to make it stand out. If you’re an IT recruiter posting a position on behalf of one of your clients, be sure to use a general term that conveys what the company does.  

2. What type of job is it? Is this a full time IT position? A part-time Agile consulting job? A technology staffing contract to hire?  These details can make or break a person’s interest.  The job may sound perfect but if it’s only part time when someone needs full time, then why should they waste their time applying?  And if they waste their time applying, they’re ultimately wasting your time, as well, when you have to process the application.

3. What level of job is it? Is this an entry level job? Is it management? How much experience does it require? List in detail what you’re looking for. It helps to put these details in bullet format instead of burying them in a block of paragraphs that people aren’t going to search through.

4. What technical skills are required? Does the IT career demand a certain level of technical expertise? If the job requires at least five years of Agile consulting experience, bring it up early on in your post. If IT consulting is less important than, say, internal IT staffing and managing technology professionals, make mention of that early on. 

5. What is the role, exactly? List out 3-5 details of the main responsibilities of the position. You can include more, but don’t go overboard because this detail will just get lost in a long scroll of text.

6. How do I apply? Some job boards take care of this for you with a big “APPLY NOW” button, but some don’t. You need to keep this mind when you choose where to post the position. If you want someone to email you with a resume and/or cover letter be sure to tell them!  You need to be extremely clear when indicating what you are looking for. And, as mentioned in previous blogs, don’t make someone write a cover letter if you aren’t going to read it.

Taking things to the next level - get a little creative!

If your organization is struggling to gain interest for key Agile, IT and technology staffing positions, think about developing a revised job posting template that you can use across the company. And you may want to get creative with it. Take a look at the 5 Creative Job Posts that Will Inspire Yours out on the LinkedIn Talent Blog:

Technology staffing posts

Source: 5 Creative Job Posts that Will Inspire Yours, LinkedIn Talent Blog

While this might not be appropriate for your industry or company culture, there are other formats and layouts that might be. Consider this posting for NPR that calls out key skills required and a short checklist in a visual format:

Technology staffing posts

Source: The World’s Most Interesting Job Descriptions, LinkedIn Talent Blog

Lastly, don’t be afraid to test different formats. Consider a text-based posting and one that is more visual for the same position and see how each one performs.

Have you implemented an alternative format for your job postings? What did the results look like? We’d love to get your ideas and hear about what worked or didn’t. Send us your feedback to: solutions@eliassen.com.

Eliassen Group

Written by Eliassen Group LinkedIn

Eliassen Group is an award-winning consulting and talent solutions firm with specialties in IT staffing, Agile consulting, creative services, managed services, and life sciences.

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