Posted November 04, 2011 by

3 Elements of a Good Job Posting Title

Peter Weddle

Peter Weddle

According to Peter Weddle of WEDDLE’s, a research, publishing, consulting and training firm dedicated to helping organizations and people maximize their success in recruiting, retention, job search and career self-management, believes that the best written job posting titles are those which have the following three key elements:

  1. The L stands for location. Most people want to work where they live so in almost every case, location is a key criterion in a person’s decision about whether or not to read on. Generally, speaking the postal code for the state in which the job is located is sufficient for U.S. based openings. However, when posting on a geocentric niche board or on your own corporate career site, you’ll get a better yield if you use a specific city or town.
  2. The first S stands for skill. Unfortunately, many recruiters use a job title for the title of their job posting. Job titles, however, were developed for internal human resource management, not for external recruitment advertising. There’s not a human being on earth who thinks of him or herself as a Systems Analyst III or an Associate Step 2. The key to this element, therefore, is not to describe the job, but instead, to feature the skill the candidate will use to perform it. That’s something they either possess or don’t, and thus is a far better way of indicating what your organization expects from applicants.
  3. The second S stands for sizzle. Job seekers, in general, bust especially passive prospects have the attention span of a gnat. So, it’s very important to pique their curiosity with a word or phrase that is out of the ordinary and either thought-provoking or intriguing enough to get them to stop and focus on your ad. The sizzle should always be true – this is not the place to play P. T. Barnum – and always related to your organization’s value proposition as an employer.”

According to Peter, to best fit the above three elements together, separate each by a dash in the job title field. For example, one of the best titles he ever saw was posted several months before what everyone thought would be the computer crisis of Y2K. It read: WI – C++ Programmer – $1.2M bonus.” The first element, “WI,” referred to the job being located in Wisconsin. The second element, “C++ Programmer,” referred to the actual job title. The third element, “$1.2M bonus,” was the sizzle.

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