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Speak Easy: Tap Into Job Seeker Parlance

Balancing your customer brand against job seeker expectations is one of the toughest challenges facing HR departments, whether it’s a team of one or hundreds.

You may sell kitchen appliances, but you don’t want your employee manual reading like instructions for a toaster oven. And although you might work for a home improvement retail chain, you don’t want reading your job descriptions to be as exciting as watching paint dry.

It’s important that you remember who you’re talking to when crafting job descriptions: job seekers, not the board of directors. With that in mind, pick and choose from your lexicon with purpose. The same words and phrases you might paint your company with in other channels, such as advertising, public relations and even internally, may not be appropriate when writing ads for your open positions. Avoid buzzwords, marketing-ease and industry speak, but also avoid patronizing or speaking down to your audience.

How to Write for Job Seekers:

Bad: Off-price retail outfit seeking sr. specialist to manage operational standards.
Good: Discount store chain seeks experienced manager.

Bad: ABC Company is seeking temporary personnel to leverage into full-time human capital at a later date.
Good: We’re now hiring seasonal workers who may be considered for future full-time employment.

If done right, you can reach out to and resonate with potential new workers without sacrificing your core brand. Remember, many of your best workers started out as customers. They know who you are. Remember who they are, and you’re good to go.

Happy hiring!

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Mike Ward is the managing editor for Snagajob. When he's not writing and editing content to support America's hourly workers and employers, he reviews movies, roots for losing sports teams and hangs out with his family and friends in the River City.

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