When did the difference between job descriptions and job postings become blurred? It’s time to settle the difference between the two once and for all.
Especially for my recruiter folks out there using the two interchangeably 😉 Job postings that are actually put out there that include:
“The Incumbent Will”…
I can’t tell you how many times I see “the incumbent will” on a job posting that went live.
How did that get past a recruiter and how was it actually posted externally!?
If you’ve read my post about job postings that don’t suck, you already know that I’m not shy about my “passion” for writing better job postings.
I often see job postings on LinkedIn and Indeed peppered with typos and the words like “responsible for” starting every single bullet point.
If they even have bullet points.
Job postings aren’t cheap, so why waste money on a job posting that hasn’t been written with much thoughts?
Creating job postings as a marketing document with thought given to SEO and targeting the right candidate is a discussion for another day.
Instead, let’s focus on the basics…
The difference between job descriptions and job postings
Job Descriptions are meant for internal use
Job descriptions are not actually a recruitment tool, they actually more of a compensation tool than anything else.
Those of you who are corporate recruiters that have in-house compensation departments know that they have a description for every job (or at least job family). Job descriptions are used to do things like group job families together, make compensation structure decision, etc.
Job descriptions are used to describe the job to the people in the job, their managers and the organization as a whole.
Internally (at least in HR), it’s totally okay to use words like “the incumbent will”.
What job descriptions are not created to do is be used as a marketing tool to candidates.
So when I see job postings with the words “the incumbent” will, it’s obvious that whoever posted the job didn’t even bother to change the job description into
Sadly, this happens more often than it should.
Job Postings are an external marketing tool
Job postings are meant to be posted. They’re meant to catch the attention of candidates.
They are essentially a marketing tool.
Of course, job postings should include a description of the job, but the goal is to write a job posting to grab the candidates’ attention.
Unlike job descriptions, job postings also include details about company values and culture as a whole and what the organization has to offer a potential candidate.
Tips for writing job postings the right way
Now that we know the difference between job descriptions and job postings, let’s talk about how to write job postings that are awesome.
Interestingly, writing a great job posting actually starts at intake. Recruiters who conduct really good intake meetings and who walk out of that meeting knowing exactly what they’re looking for are able to write a job posting that truly speaks to their ideal candidate.
If you want to go a step further (and you should), you can writing your job postings with SEO for recruitment in mind (there’s a pretty useful infographic at the end of that post).
Here 5 tips you should do every time you have a job posting to create: