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Think of job descriptions as resumes

How often do hiring managers consider the fact that their candidates and the readers of their job descriptions may also be their customers? 

Several months ago, a candidate came into our office and just about commanded us to find a position for her immediately.

She said she had just purchased a car and now had a $426 monthly payment. She talked about how the car was expensive and she needed to make as much money as possible. 

She didn’t tell us about her skills or work experience, assure us that she would be a reliable employee, or bring us a resume, or do anything to actually help find her a job. 

Spoiler alert: we were not able to find her a job. 

Most of us are able to realize her mistake: she didn’t market herself, and she didn’t tell us how companies would benefit from hiring her. 

Most recruiters, hiring managers, and owners would probably shake their heads in disbelief at this story.

However, many companies do the same thing that she did. They’re just sitting on the other side of the desk.

When most companies post job descriptions, they start by focusing solely on what they need. They write out the requirements and the expectations, the work hours, and the educational background needed.

To be clear, thoroughly explaining the job description is important. And candidates do want to know what the expectations and requirements are. 

But think of the job description as a type of company resume for the employees and for the candidates. 

And remember that the job description is going to be seen by more people than just the candidates. It may be seen by competitors, potential vendors, or even customers. 

How often do hiring managers consider the fact that their candidates may also be their customers? 

Job descriptions are a great opportunity for companies to brand themselves and spread the word of what they do. 

Many employers will throw in some vague information at the bottom of the job description about how the salary and benefits are competitive and how they offer vacation days. 

They rarely explain how they differentiate themselves from other companies.

Hiring managers should take the time to consider what makes them different, whether it be the work environment, the office environment, whether they accept pets, the hard work ethic of the employees, the size of the company, whether they are a Fortune 500 company or small business with a family feel, or anything that can honestly set themselves apart. 

The unique selling point can be just a few words or sentences that set themselves apart. Or they can word the expectations in a positive way, ensuring that the description doesn’t make the candidate feel as though they are getting beat over the head with their requirements.

If they are a large company, they can tout that they are a Fortune 500 company and offer many opportunities for growth. If they are a small company, they can highlight their family atmosphere, their flexible hours, or their agility. There’s no need to lie.

Every business has some type of unique selling point or key differentiator. Business schools regularly teach students the important of a unique selling proposition for clients. The concept of promoting your business to your candidates is similar. The only difference is the audience.

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