Find out what to say to get the best response

 campaign-creators-771723-unsplash-1Research has found including certain phrases on a resume may increase — or eliminate — jobseekers’ chance of landing an interview.

Using keywords such as experience and management, for example, can increase the likelihood hiring managers will give a resume a good rating by up to 70 percent, according to an analysis ZipRecruiter conducted of its resume database.

Conversely, in a CareerBuilder survey, hiring managers named best of breed and go-getter as two of the worst terms to include to pique their interest.

If certain words can have such a strong effect on the people reviewing resumes, it stands to reason that when an employer is writing a job listing, including specific keywords could similarly help catch sought-after candidates’ attention.

Before you post your next job ad, your organization may want to consider including the following elements:

Gender-neutral terminology

Using words associated with feminine or male stereotypes — such as stating a company is “looking for a strong” professional or people who are assertive, two examples of male-biased phrasing — may deter qualified candidates from considering your company, according to research from ZipRecruiter.

After examining its job ads, the site found listings that contain gender-neutral wording receive 42 percent more responses from jobseekers. In the U.S., use of gendered job description keywords — including female-biased phrasing such as “nurture and connect with customers” — was shown to be more frequent in several states, including South and North Dakota, Idaho and Mississippi.

diego-ph-249471-unsplashJob titles; not company names

As CareerBuilder data suggests, candidates enter a job title or related term into a search engine more often than a company name when looking for a job; just entering an employer’s name isn’t a common practice. Focusing on incorporating position names and corresponding terms, then, should increase the possibility candidates will find your job ad.

Statements about what the candidate will do — not what the employer needs

When writing a job listing, including words that describe the specific role someone will play in large projects and opportunities the position will offer, instead of a bullet list of job responsibilities and requirements, can garner a better response. Job descriptions written with the candidate in mind, instead of the employer’s needs, generate a 14 percent higher response rate, according to a MightyRecruiter survey of business leaders and recruiters.

Little to no slang

In a study involving three differently worded job listings, LinkedIn found people were four times more likely to view an employer negatively and two to four times less likely to apply for a job after reading the version of the listing written in a casual tone — which contained job description keywords like “awesome employees,” along with humorous hashtags.

Participants instead favored the detailed annual goals listed in another version of the descriptions, which clarified that “success would mean” having increased revenue and other metrics by a specific amount by the end of the employee’s first year.

Additional guidelines for writing a job description can be found in our blog post on job listing content that resonates with candidates; our posts on deciphering unconventional job titles, blind hiring and the role big data can play in recruiting may also offer some ideas to help your organization reach out to and review potential candidates.

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