10 Ways to Make Your Nonprofit’s Job Posts Stand Out

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Updated July, 14 2022 | Ben Hastil

Note: when this blog post was originally written in August 2019, Wisconsin had one of the lowest unemployment rates in history, making for a particularly challenging environment for recruitment. Since 2021, this situation has returned, with unemployment again near historic lows, and ‑nationally- millions more open positions existing than there are job seekers.

Employers in Wisconsin are currently facing one of the most challenging environments for recruitment that has existed in recent memory.

In Wisconsin, the Department of Workforce Development reported that the number of Wisconsin residents they counted as unemployed was only 88,100 for the whole state this spring, which is the lowest number that they have recorded since they started tracking this data in 1976. Across the nation, the number of job openings exceeded the number of unemployed workers by the largest margin on record this spring, and the situation has not changed significantly over the summer.

So, this means that making your nonprofit’s job posts stand out on our Job Listings is especially important right now. Here are ten ways that you can do this:

1. Leverage mission statement and impact

Leverage your nonprofit’s mission statement and the impact that your nonprofit makes by including a statement in your job posts about the difference a candidate would make in the position and its importance to your mission, clients, and the community.

2. Explain acronyms and terminology

Explain any acronyms and terminology used in your job posts. Sometimes, nonprofit work can sound a bit like alphabet soup, so make sure to expand on acronyms, abbreviations, and terminology in your job post to provide helpful context. LinkedIn tested three versions of the same job description with a “generic” (straightforward and plain), “formal” (using jargon and buzzwords), and “casual” (conversational and humorous) tone, and found that the straightforward and plain “generic” job description did the best with job seekers.

3. Use a brief and descriptive job title

Make sure job titles include only essential words and are descriptive to job seekers. As SHRM reports, shorter job titles are connected to higher application rates. In addition, SHRM notes that a job title that makes sense within the organization (e.g. “Program Analyst III”) may not be a meaningful title to most job seekers. So, consider the job title on the job post through the eyes of a job seeker not familiar with your organization, and ensure that the job title would still be descriptive and understandable to them.

4. Include keywords in your job post

Make sure to include keywords that you want your job post to appear in on the searches that a job seeker might make on our Job Listings or in the job alerts they might set-up (and we’ve sent over 500 job alert e-mails in just the past couple months!). For instance, in addition to specifying that the position “requires experience or a degree in a related field, include the relevant fields. For a social services position, it might look like this: “requires experience or a degree in social work (BSW or MSW), human services, social services, psychology, sociology, counseling, or a related field.”

5. List benefits in your job post

This might seem obvious, but it’s not unusual for us to see the benefits that a position offers not mentioned in the job post. If the position includes benefits (personal days, sick leave, health insurance, etc.) make sure to reference those benefits in the job post, of course! In a 2017 study of 50 million job ad clicks and 3.7 million applies, it was found that “listing non-cash employee benefits in job ads radically motivated candidates to apply” and that “organizations that listed at least four non-cash benefits found a 20%+ improvement in the effectiveness of their online recruitment advertising.” So, providing an overview of the types of benefits provided, as opposed to only including “excellent benefits provided” is helpful, too.

6. Consider other perks

Beyond traditional benefits (such as those referenced above) that may be offered, are there other perks that haven’t previously been considered benefits, which could be added? For instance, is casual dress allowed, do employees receive a free meal when eating with clients, can employees work some days from home, or are employees considered annually for raises?

7. Include wage or salary details

After analyzing hundreds of job posts, we found that including wage or salary details (either a specific amount or a range) on job posts is correlated with increased performance (e.g. more page views and clicks to apply). As one job seeker who used Jobs That Help to find their next job shared with us, “salary information definitely made a job more appealing for me, because I didn’t have to worry about the negotiating piece.” Learn more about this in our blog post on how Your Job Post Might Be Missing the Most Important Piece.

8. Add your logo

Because of the color and name-recognition that a logo adds, including your nonprofit’s logo on your job posts is one easy way to draw more eyes to your openings. Logos display best on our Job Listings when they are uploaded as square images, and the images set as profile logos on your organization’s social media pages are often perfect for this. If you run into trouble adding your logo or having it fit correctly, let us know, and we will help!

9. Format job posts

Take advantage of the ability to format your job posts in our job post submission form, using bold, italics, underlining, and bullet points or numbered lists to make your job posts easy to read and digest.

10. Double-check the basics

Sometimes it’s just about double-checking the basics: make sure to give your job posts a final scan for typos or similar mistakes. Especially when previously used job posts are re-used, we catch errors related to the job type having changed (such as from full-time to part-time), the email address or link to apply to the position having changed, or the deadline that is listed to apply by having changed.

We hope these ten ways to make your nonprofit’s job posts stand out are helpful in drawing more skilled candidates to your job openings. Let us know how it works for you!

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