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Job Posting Do’s and Don’ts

Writing a job posting seems like a fairly straightforward task. You describe the position and the qualifications needed, click “post,” and wait for the resumes to roll in, right?

If only writing job postings were that easy! In reality, crafting a job posting that is effective and targeted, substantive but not overly long, and free of legal snafus is no easy feat.  This is especially true at smaller companies, where the person writing the job posting likely does not devote a large percentage of his or her time on recruitment.

To assist employers who find themselves floundering when faced with this task, PMP has created a brief list of “do’s and don’ts”:

  1. DO think about the qualifications that are actually needed for the job, and tailor the job posting accordingly. Each qualification listed should have a legitimate relationship to the job, so that the employer could defend the list in the event that an applicant claimed it was discriminatory against a particular group.

  2. DON’T use gender-specific pronouns or euphemisms for a certain gender, age, or physical condition. For example, don’t say you are looking for “hot waitresses” or “recent college graduates.” If a bona fide job qualification that touches on protected characteristics exists, state it precisely. For example, “must be able to lift 50 pounds” may be an actual requirement for the position; being “in good health” should not be.

  3. DON’T bury important information at the bottom of the posting. Some candidates will focus on the first part of a job listing and not absorb all the information in a long list of job requirements. This may result in your office being flooded with resumes from unqualified candidates. Place any essential qualifications front and center in your job description.

  4. DO include a statement that the company is an equal opportunity employer.

  5. DO show what sets your company apart from the competition, whether it is your competitive salaries, stand-out benefits package, unique culture, or achievements in the industry.

Even for a seasoned recruiter, an effective job posting is not something that can be dashed off in a hurry. It requires careful thought and consideration. But when done properly, it can yield invaluable results. When you find a steady stream of qualified applicants at your doorstep (or in your inbox), you will be glad you took the time to do it right.

Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates, Inc. is here to answer any questions you have regarding your job postings, job descriptions, and recruiting practices.  Check out our upcoming workshop, Strategic Job Descriptions: Minimize Liability and Maximize Productivity on Wednesday, November 2, 2016.   In addition to our staff of seasoned HR consultants, we also have a staff of experienced employment lawyers on hand to address any questions you may have regarding legal compliance.  Contact us at 800-921-2195 or 516-921-3400. You can also visit our website or e-mail us at


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