The following suggestions are based on our experiences with real job seekers and real employers going through the hiring process.

When Writing a Job Posting

  • Write the posting as if you were speaking directly to the job seeker using straightforward language.
  • Communicate your expectations clearly and succinctly.
  • Highlight only the most important information.
    • Too much information might overwhelm or lose the interest of the job seeker. You can always discuss the job in greater detail in the interview.
  • Keep it real.
    • Be encouraging but objective. Try not to exaggerate the importance of the position. Let the job seeker make their own determination. This approach encourages the job seeker to have a realistic and contented perspective on the position if they are hired.

A Basic Outline for a Job Posting

This is the basic information necessary for a job seeker to determine if they are a good fit for a position.

  1. Overview (Paragraph/Prose).
    • Describe the position and give a synopsis of the job responsibilities.
    • Explain why the activities of the position are of value to the company and/or community.
  2. Summary of the role (Bullet Points).
  3. Job Responsibilities list (Bullet Points).
  4. Qualifications & Required Skills (credentials, years of experience, specific skills) (Bullet Points).
  5. Preferred Skills (Desired but not required) (Bullet Points).
  6. Organizational Values & Culture (Paragraph/Prose).
  7. Compliances (Non-discrimination policy, etc.) (Paragraph/Prose).

If requesting supplemental information, don’t ask a job seeker…

  • Why they are looking for work.
    • Usually, it is because they need a job.
  • Why they want to move to your small, quiet town and away from their big, glamorous city.
    • More often than not, the reasons are complex and personal. They are rarely capricious or shady.  This question is too familiar and can unnecessarily fluster a job seeker.
  • How much money they want.
    • It is the potential employers’ responsibility to make an offer.  Otherwise, you may leave it open for the job seeker to question whether you are hiring based on qualifications or other priorities.
    • There are many points in the process when this may be done.  In the posting, during the interview or when you make an offer.
    • You can always give them a range at some point and let them decide if they wish to continue with the application process.
  • To do homework before offering them an interview.
    • This includes answering extended written questions, writing copy or an essay, providing professional recommendations or preparing a presentation. A resume, cover letter and writing sample are the maximum in the first stage.  Given the opportunity to work for free, the shrewd applicant you want on your team will laugh and move on.

When the Applications Start to Arrive

  • Demonstrate good communication values by promptly replying to every application, even if the response is only automated.  It costs next to nothing in either time or money, but garners respect for your company.

When Interviewing


  • Remember that the job seeker is interviewing you too. Put your best foot forward and show them the respect that you want them to show to you in the longterm.  The tone you set here set the tone of relationship.
  • Make sure, when interviewing on a video platform, that every participating company representative is facing the camera and is clearly visible to the job seeker.  Do not include audio only participants.
  • Give the job seeker a picture of what to expect from the hiring process and a basic timeline. Then, follow up on all interviews accordingly. If you are delayed, just let them know. You don’t want to lose a great candidate because they have given up on you.

Avoid asking a job seeker:

  • To respond to hypothetical scenarios.  e.g. “What would you do with an empty 500 sq. ft. space?” (when they have never seen it, don’t know the location, fire codes or its state of repair, etc.)
    • Instead, ask them questions they can answer, such as about their background and accomplishments, or skill related questions  Get to know who they are right now.

And, as explained above, avoid asking…

  • Why they are looking for work.
  • Why they want to move to your small, quiet town and away from their big, glamorous city.
  • How much money they want.

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