How do I write an attractive job posting?

Every university and job board will have their own specific format with different components. However, there are commonalities and some general principles that can help you craft an attractive position description and attract the students you want. We've put the common elements into a fillable WIL Job Posting Template (.doc). 

Before you begin, you will want to make sure you have the following:

  1. Basic details about the position including the title, start/end date, location 
  2. Any requirements or preferences you have regarding the student’s program and level
  3. The tasks and responsibilities for this position, listed in order of importance or time
  4. The knowledge/skills/competencies required for the job split into essential and desirable
  5. A sense of what you want to convey about your company including values, commitment to inclusivity, work environment, etc.
  6. Details about compensation both monetary and otherwise
  7. Any additional information that could differentiate your company and this position such as training, mentorship, networking, etc.

Our resources can help you identify this information.

Finally, review our answers to ‘What kind of work do students want to be involved in?’ and ‘How are students evaluating my company and my job posts?’. This information will help you understand the ‘why’ behind many of our suggestions below.

Below we cover a few parts of a typical job posting that are particularly important when it comes to attracting students' attention and ultimately converting them into applicants.

Once you’ve filled in all the section of the job posting template, read through it again as a whole. Try to see it from a student’s perspective. Does it give them a clear and accurate picture of the day-to-day nature of the job? Does it help them see how they will both provide and receive value? Are there any missing details that might make them anxious? Will students walk away feeling like this is something they can realistically do but that will also challenge them and give them an opportunity to grow? If you have current employees doing this job or former WIL students, have them read over the posting and provide you with another opinion.

And then…stop. You could keep tweaking things forever, but you’ve probably got a submission deadline approaching. After each round of interviewing and hiring, revisit the job posting to see if there’s anything you can improve.