The Recruiting Nightmare #2 – No One Can Write A Job Posting

Let’s put this simply – most job postings are horribly written, boring, inaccurate, and usually are near-meaningless laundry lists of stats and years of experience.  Those that aren’t too long are usually stupidly short.  The end result is:

  1. People ignore the postings and send in resumes anyway, qualified or not.
  2. People don’t send in resumes.

In short, job postings are lousy and they don’t get the right people.

Who’s to blame?  Actually, there’s really no one to blame for this – it’s another case of the system breaking down.

Recruiters, unless specialized, don’t necessary get all the nuances of a position.  Employers rarely understand the specifics of a position as well.  The people who may actually understand (the managers and co-workers of the potential hire) probably understand the specifics, but in too many cases no one is asking them.

Then of course there’s the problem that, no matter how much you know, you may not know how to write a good job posting.

So it ends up being piles of bullet points and every job posting looking alike and no one caring because you just ape other job posts in a race to the bottom.  One sign of really good recruiters is that they know how to get over this, but even the good ones may operate under the crushing burdens of doing this for – or with – people who don’t get it.

If you’ve ever seen a rock-stupid job posting made by a smart person?  That person probably was asked to put in said rock-stupid content. It happens.

Now I say this as a person who does write job postings that I think are good – it is possible to learn how to write them.  I do it – but I know my limits.  I know recruiters and managers who are good at it – within teir limits.  It’s a skillset.

How many of us get any training in this skillset?  How many of us eventually have to hire and have no idea how to write a job posting?  You get the idea.

Now on top of the fact that there’s not always a lot of training  for job postings, there’s also the fact the economy and jobs have changed radically, technhology has transformed so many positions, and recruiters are having to use the formats on job posting sites.  Even people really good at job postings have had to cope with this.

The end result, a lot of hideous job postings that don’t help anyone very well and frankly don’t do the job very well.  They get the wrong people, or not enough people, or too many, and all those situations mean problems – and make hiring a nightmare.


  • Learn to read between the lines in job postings and try to find what they’re really about.
  • Remember people having to craft job postings are dealing with a lot of challenges – go out of your way to show your skills and abilities to people.


  • If you’re good at writing job postings, help out the recruiters you know and work with.
  • Consider developing the skills to make good job postings.  It makes you a good team-member (as helps out with your career).
  • If you have that job posting skill, teach others how you do it.


  • If you’re good at writing up job posings, especially for your specialty, create a guide on how to do it for people or teach a class.
  • If you’re not good, consider learning.  You have a lot of specialist knowledge.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach for professional and potentially professional geeks, fans, and otaku. He can be reached at