When you click ‘Publish’ on a job board, you expect the next step to be exactly that. For your job ad to be published and visible to job seekers. Occasionally though, you might receive an email saying your job post was rejected. It’s frustrating, but there’s a reason for this rejection: job boards have their own guidelines to ensure high-quality, legitimate job ads that’ll help you target the right candidates.
Here are the 6 most important job posting guidelines to help your job advertisement get published:
1. Advertise for one person per job ad
✗ “Looking to hire 10 Salespeople”
✓ “Looking to hire a Sales Representative”
Perhaps you’re opening a new store or you have a big project coming up and want to grow your teams rapidly. Even so, your job ad will be read by individuals, so appeal directly to them.
Most job boards won’t allow you to advertise for multiples of the same position, so write your job title and description for a single position. Add all the qualified applicants to your recruiting pipeline—and hire as many as you need. There’s no limit to the number of hires you can make from a single job advertisement.
When it makes sense, publish different job ads, tweaking the job titles and descriptions. For example, instead of advertising jobs for “Senior Sales Professionals”, create separate job posts for a “Sales Account Executive” and a “Regional Sales Manager”.
2. Clarify the location of your open job
✗ “Looking to hire a Developer in Boston or New York”
✓ “Looking to hire a Developer in Boston, Massachusetts”
Location plays a key role in a candidate’s decision to apply for a job. To avoid confusion, be specific or you risk seeing your job ad get rejected. For example:
- Mention whether the position refers to your headquarters or one of your branches
- Clarify if it’s a remote job
- Create different job postings per region when you want to hire employees in various locations
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3. Mention the specific job title of your open position
✗ “See our job openings” or “Hiring now”
✓ “Looking for a Senior Account Manager”
Candidates search for job opportunities using specific keywords and job titles. In addition, job boards make recommendations to candidates based on their criteria. That’s why job seekers are less likely to click – or even come across – generic job postings. And job boards might reject those posts before they get published anyway.
To get closer to qualified candidates:
- Create different job ads for different roles, so that job seekers see the one closer to their skills and interests
- If you’re hosting a job fair or open house event, advertise on your careers site and social media pages to appeal to a larger audience, already familiar with your brand
4. Write informative job descriptions – not too long or too short
✗ “We are looking to hire a Marketing Assistant. Please send your resume at ABC@company.com”
✓ “We are looking for a Marketing Assistant who’ll support our advertising campaigns and track web analytics. Your main job duties include A, B, C. To be successful in this role, you should be familiar with [Google Adwords and CRM software.] Our employees include benefits, including X, Y, Z.”
Some job boards have a minimum character limit, but even if you’re posting on job boards without restrictions, make sure you provide candidates with enough details about the position and your company. By setting expectations early on, you’ll attract qualified candidates who are interested in the role.
As a rule of thumb, write job descriptions of around 700-800 words to include:
- Specific job duties
- Must-have requirements
- Meaningful benefits you offer
- Useful information about your company or teams
5. Avoid buzzwords or inaccurate job titles
✗ “We are looking for a Rockstar Engineer”
✓ “We are looking for a Python Developer”
Realistic, descriptive job titles are more effective, as they’re easily searchable by candidates. When writing your job ads, think of what the role entails and capture this in the title. Here are a few basic job posting guidelines to keep in mind:
- “Manager” and “Director” indicate the employee will lead a team
- It’s best to include the department in the job title, like “Marketing assistant” or “Sales representative”
- Buzzwords, like “unicorn”, “guru” and “ninja” can turn candidates off
6. Opt for neutral, unbiased language
✗ “We are looking for a salesman with at least 5 years of experience” or “We are looking for a youthful, energetic designer”
✓ “We are looking for a salesperson with experience in X software” or “We are looking for a designer”
Job boards usually reject posts with discriminatory or biased language. Unconscious bias is often hard to avoid, but reviewing and updating your language before you post the ad will help you build more diverse teams that bring different perspectives to the workplace.
To make your job ad language more neutral and inclusive, double-check whether your requirements are strictly job-related. Instead of mentioning protected characteristics like race, sex, age or religion, focus on:
- Experience in your industry
- Knowledge of tools you’re using
- Tasks that employees should manage independently
To summarize our article, we created the following video about the six job posting guidelines to create effective job postings and attract ideal candidates:
If you need more help on how to write effective job posts from scratch, visit IWA’s job description library. You’ll find a wide range of downloadable templates for various departments and industries that will increase the chances your job ads get published and attract the right candidates. If you’re already using IWA as your recruiting software, find out how we help you avoid mistakes when you’re advertising for open jobs.