3 Tips to Write an Effective Job Posting

Don’t handicap your candidate search before really getting started. Over 90% of candidates want to hear about new job opportunities, so why aren’t they applying to your company? There could be a variety of reasons, but the probable answer is one of the easiest to fix – your applications are confusing.

Whether it’s the terminology, wording, or sheer length of the application, something is turning candidates away. Fountain processes over 1,000,000 applications per month on our platform, and the data has given us proven formulas for writing the perfect listing. Having an effective job post will immediately increase your application rates and the total number of applicants in your pipeline.

1. Keep it Simple

Understand the audience that you are marketing to. For hourly roles that require high-volume hiring, don’t oversaturate the posting with unnecessary requirements and convoluted messaging.

When candidates are presented with confusing jargon they are less likely to apply for the jobs that you are posting. If your job descriptions are simple, more candidates will apply to your roles.

The key takeaways:

  • Only list critical job duties and qualities
  • Include minimum requirements
  • Include the wage rate or a range

Don’t be afraid to go into detail about the benefits of a job. While these aren’t the main focus, listing 4+ benefits in a job description can yield up to a 22.5% apply rate.

2. Find The Sweet Spot 

Our data shows that the ideal job posting length should be anywhere between 4,000-5,000 characters. A posting in this range should have a click-to-apply rate anywhere between 14-15%.


Postings that had greater than 5,000 characters saw diminishing apply rates, falling below 10% past 8,000 characters. The lowest click-to-apply rates came from postings that only had between 1,000-2,000 characters, at 4-6%. If for whatever reason you are not able to keep your posting between 4000-5000, the data points to candidates preferring longer listings.

3. Don’t waste their time 

The longer your applications are, the less likely it is that a candidate will follow through. Applications that have an average completion time longer than 15 minutes result in a 3.61% completion rate. An application lasting 6-15 minutes have a 6.97% completion rate, but if you have an application that takes a candidate less than 5 minutes to complete, your completion rate almost doubles to 12.47%.

Shorter applications not only increase candidate completion rate, they also save your company money. In a cost-per-click pricing model, recruiters are paying per click regardless of if a candidate actually completes the application. The lower your completion rates, the higher the cost.

Following the tips above will immediately increase the number of candidates in your pipeline, while keeping your recruiting costs low. For more hiring best practices, check out Fountain’s Ultimate Guide to Frontline Hiring.