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Job Postings That Resonate With Entry-Level Candidates

Entry-level job descriptions are at times a candidate’s first introduction to your organization. While these postings may seem simple to create, it’s crucial to not overlook the power of a well-written and impactful job description. If a job ad sounds dull and uninteresting, this will deter candidates from applying. Moreover, if competitors are taking the time to write compelling job postings, the number of applicants your postings receive will diminish as candidates choose more interesting-sounding roles over yours. Taking the time to write realistic, yet impressive entry-level job postings will surely entice more quality candidates to apply to your roles.

Include Responsibilities and Qualifications in Your Entry-Level Job Description

The first step is to carefully consider which responsibilities and qualifications to include in the job description. This is a delicate process because many potential applicants will make their decision about moving forward based on these sections of a job ad alone. For instance, a surprising number of entry-level job descriptions include experience requirements, which is a deterrent for new grads with little experience. Instead of listing work experience that new grads likely won’t have, list the required competency that will allow the entry-level hire to be successful in the role.

Determine which functions are essential to the position and include them in the list of responsibilities - but don't stop there. Your posting can also show applicants how their work will impact the company, which is appealing to entry-level candidates who want to make a meaningful contribution. When creating a job description, seize the opportunity to showcase your company culture by highlighting the importance of responsibilities such as collaboration and teamwork. Use your description to create powerful statements that let candidates know the work they do is truly valued. Below is an illustration:

Responsibilities include collaborating with team members to provide exceptional customer care during in-person and telephone interactions. This position is the customer's first experience with the organization, making it a critical contributing factor to the company's goal of reaching 90 percent in customer satisfaction ratings.

Adding requirements for education, experience, and skills is also tricky. Overreaching on these requirements diminishes the applicant pool dramatically, while too much flexibility means an excessive number of applications from individuals who are not suitable. Try striking a balance between the two extremes by noting only the qualifications truly necessary for successful performance. Job-seekers who are not qualified will hopefully self-select out of the process.

Consider focusing on soft skills that are a must-have for success in entry-level positions. In today's labor market, the most in-demand soft skills are focus, curiosity, agility, humility, and communication:

  • Focus – Focus refers to the candidate’s ability to see a project through from start to finish. Though candidates might not have job experience, this skill can be demonstrated through academic achievements or volunteer and student organization activities. The point of assessing this is to ensure that prospective hires will stick with a task or project and ensure it is completed successfully and in a timely manner.
  • Curiosity – This skill refers to the candidate's interest in continuous learning. Many of the basic skills needed for success in entry-level positions - customer service and relationship management, for example - aren't taught in college. New hires will be called upon to learn on-the-job. A candidate demonstrates curiosity through hobbies like reading, as well as learning new skills such as playing an instrument.
  • Agility – In business, agility involves finding an alternative solution when the first one doesn't work. It also means sticking through a project or staying with an organization even when things do not go as planned. Students show agility when sticking with difficult courses and working through difficult team relationships on group projects.
  • Humility – Entry-level employees must be willing to learn from others, which is difficult if they are over-confident. Seek candidates who show humility - a blend of healthy self-confidence and willingness to admit errors and ask for help when needed.
  • Communication – Communicating effectively is one of the most sought-after skills for all positions. Identifying whether a new hire can communicate clearly with customers, as well as internal stakeholders, is important in ensuring their success in your organization.

Ultimately, it will be the interviewer’s responsibility to determine a candidate’s true mastery of these skills, but the job description is an excellent opportunity to introduce expectations. For example, the following language offers robust information on soft skills needed for success as a Junior Sales Associate:

If you're the type of person who can pick up the phone and start a conversation with anyone, this job is for you. Junior Sales Associates come to work ready for a different challenge each day, and they are excited by the opportunity to add to their skillsets.

Finally, be selective when choosing the job responsibilities and required qualifications that will be included in the job description. Conciseness is important in attracting applicants, who may be unwilling to wade through a long list of criteria.

Adding "Wow Factors" to Entry-Level Job Descriptions

It’s important to add more than just responsibilities and qualifications to a job ad to truly pique a candidate’s interest. Consider creating an enhanced job posting using a tool such as Symplicity Recruit that allows you to add extra branding to your job posting. This branding will help distinguish your ad from your competitors'.

It’s also important to discuss features of the work environment that set the company apart; for example, flexible scheduling, commitment to volunteer activities and wellness programs. Mention corporate learning and development initiatives, such as mentor programs, tuition assistance, and leadership training. Last, but not least, don’t forget to include a list of the major perks and benefits offered.

Today's workers, particularly members of the millennial generation, have repeatedly indicated that company values are an important part of their decision to accept a job. Talented candidates are looking for a culture of engagement, and they want to be aligned with business priorities. Use the job description to help applicants visualize the experience of current employees. Some recruiters do this through short, compelling stories inspired by staff members - a proven method of motivating readers to take action. Others use video and images to capture the day-to-day experience of staff members.

Making Entry-Level Job Descriptions Part of an Excellent Candidate Experience

Ensure that when potential candidates read the job description, they have an option to take immediate action. Mobile technology offers applicants the ability to search for a job anytime, anywhere - if they have to return to your site later with a laptop in order to submit their application, they may lose interest. Make sure job descriptions are housed on a mobile-friendly site, and create application processes that are optimized for mobile devices. Use pre-fill options to limit the amount of information that candidates must enter manually. Many social media sites allow users to automatically upload basic data into forms, and applicants expect this convenience.

Taking the time to ensure your job postings are optimized to appeal to the entry-level candidate is vital in attracting the right candidates to your role. Once the applications come pouring in, it should make the final selection process that much easier when you have countless qualified candidates to choose from.


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