Who’s Your Audience:
When writing a job description, the first question should be, who is your audience? You are hiring x position; why should you care about the audience?
If you are a company in Washington State and need to hire a Marketing Manager:
There are 2 025 “Marketing Manager” jobs listed on Indeed.com
There are 9,064 “Marketing Manager” jobs listed on LinkedIn.com
How do you make your Marketing Manager job stand out from the rest?
Forget the clever title that hurts employers with candidates. When it comes to candidates, they think in terms of titles. A fact that anyone who has screened applications can attest to. I often want to ask the applicant if they read the job description.
If you want to stand out from the sea of Marketing Manager job descriptions, then it is necessary to speak Candidate. Need to familiarize yourself with the Candidate language? Candidate language is content-driven, not some variation of English. Candidate language is also known as WIIFM.
What’s In It For Me
Many hiring teams might react negatively to WIIFM. The phrase might lead people to think that the only question is compensation. All candidates have compensation expectations; fortunately, they care about the work that they are doing and how they perceive their role within the company.
For some candidates, compensation is the first question. Mercenary hires typically don’t last. It’s only time until someone comes along and offers more.
Your moment with any qualified or unqualified candidate’s attention is a few seconds.
First, the Job Summary. They will scan your job description. Is your copy easily scanned? Is the text broken up into scannable chunks – 2-3 sentences?
What is your opening sentence? Is it directed to your target audience of qualified marketing managers?
The candidate pool for your marketing manager or almost any other position may look big, but it is not deep. Plus, remember the competition? How are you penetrating the noise?
Your job summary must grab the readers’ attention and compel them to keep reading. The job summary should be written as if a direct response copywriter wrote it.
Many job descriptions are laundry lists of to-dos. Avoid the temptation to list everything the position is responsible for. Remember your audience. A marketing manager with the desired proficiencies and experience knows what they do daily. Keep the list short of 2-3 items.
Think of the manager’s responsibility as an opportunity to state challenges that the position is expected to overcome.
Additional Responsibilities & Expectations
If a separate section is allotted to “Additional Responsibilities & Expectations,” what is being communicated? How does this serve the employer? How do the listed additional responsibilities communicate the company’s expectations?
What Mom said is true; it’s not what you say but how you say it.
As with the Responsibilities Section, keep the list short. Only the priorities. A qualified candidate likely has the required skills and experience. A long list of skills needed does not help the employer’s brand.
Previous Experience & Desired Education
This section is another opportunity for companies to appear unique. For example, there is the Plan A candidate. The Plan A candidate is the imaginary ideal candidate. It’s essential to know the difference between need-to-have vs. nice-to-have.
COVID seems to have changed many hiring managers’ thinking about education. I have recruited STEM-educated people for many years. For the first time, managers are accepting AS degrees for technical positions. Remember your target audience.
Any job description should not be considered one-and-done. Look at the applicants for any job description. What patterns are easily discernable? Are people applying that fit within the parameters of qualified? If not, where are they missing? Candidates may interpret some parts of a job description other than intended. Adjust the job description in real-time.
The job description is many candidates’ first encounter with a company. Companies can attract better-quality candidates with job descriptions written for the target audience. The job description will determine the quality of any candidate pool.