required vs preferred qualificationsWhen I speak with employers who are about to post a job on, they often want my input on how to create the most effective job posting for the talent they are seeking. The first piece of advice I give them is to focus on attracting the best candidates and not necessarily screening out those that are unqualified. At a minimum, job postings should include information about the company, a brief description of the job, the qualifications or requirements to effectively do the job, and how to apply for it. Generally, the “qualifications or requirements” section is the most challenging and crucial portion of the job posting. Here are some tips on how to create a job posting that will compel the best candidates to apply:


Required vs Preferred Qualifications


• Keep it short – The best candidates have limited time to job search. Get right to the point about what your company has to offer and tell them about the ideal candidate you are seeking. Combine similar qualifications when practical and try to limit your list to no more than seven very specific requirements.


• Keep it simple – Listing only the minimum qualifications for the position is best, as good candidates that do not possess the “preferred” qualifications will often disqualify themselves without ever applying. If you wish to list those “nice to have” qualifications, deemphasize them by listing them at the bottom of that section of the posting.


• Keywords searchable – Candidates search for jobs the same way employers search for candidates – by keywords. When listing requirements for the job, use terms that are searchable online. Avoid acronyms or terminology that is unique to your company and might be unknown to the general public; however, be sure to include technical terms that are common to the career type or industry sector.


And one last piece of advice is to modify your posting as needed. Once your posting is public, adjust the wording of your qualifications, if necessary, to steer the proper candidates to your opportunity. If you find that the applicants you are receiving are consistently lacking a certain skill you want to see on their resumes, fine tune your posting accordingly.


I encourage you to tap into the best talent the ag industry has to offer by posting your open jobs on today!

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