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  • Writer's pictureNonprofit Learning Lab

Seven Tips on Writing a Great Job Posting to Recruit Qualified Candidates

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Every nonprofit wants to attract serious, qualified job applicants. But how do you do that? The key lies in the job description. If the description doesn’t accurately represent your nonprofit and the position, it could prevent you from finding the right candidate.

Keep reading for seven tips on writing a great job description.

1. Keep the responsibilities list brief.

Instead of a long, boring list of duties, stick to the position’s core responsibilities and how those contribute to the organization’s mission. Excited, driven candidates look for nonprofit jobs that provide creative freedom and meaningful work, so cut the comprehensive task list. Make sure the responsibilities accurately represent the position, too. Nobody wants to be surprised with a different job than the one they were hired to do!

2. Feature important benefits.

Do you offer health insurance? Flexible PTO? Professional development opportunities? Highlight that in your job listing! Nonprofit applicants want to know that their employer understands and supports work/life balance.

3. Don’t forget about grammar.

A well-written job description has more potential to attract serious applicants, so be sure to proofread your listing. Check for grammatical errors and typos, use specific, direct language and avoid buzzwords.

4. Highlight your organization’s brand.

Don’t be afraid to express your nonprofit’s personality in the job description. Applicants want to know that they are joining a team of real people who will welcome and support them. Maybe your organization prides itself on a laid-back culture, regular staff outings or virtual happy hours. Whatever it is, let applicants know that you have a fantastic team and are excited to include someone new.

5. Be Transparent About Salary

A job’s salary is an important deciding factor for job seekers and can help you attract candidates that are serious about the position. In fact, salary transparency is so important that it is now required by law in many states. If you fail to list a salary, it increases the likelihood that you waste time interviewing candidates who are not prepared to accept the pay range. So save time and be upfront about salary.

6. Make Sure the Job Title Matches the Job

A nonprofit job’s title is the first thing people see that piques their interest or signals that it’s not a great fit, so the title needs to match the responsibilities. Avoid titles with trendy terms like “ninja” or “wizard” or that are too vague. Stick to classic titles such as Program Coordinator, Marketing Director, Development Director, Chief Operating Officer or Executive Director.

7. Write a thoughtful introductory paragraph.

The introductory paragraph is your first chance to impress potential candidates. Highlight your nonprofit mission statement, programs and services. Explain what you are looking for in an applicant, including desired skills and experience, and give a broad overview of the job responsibilities. If you want a better chance at recruiting top talent in the nonprofit sector, be clear and specific, and don’t be afraid to brag a little!

Writing a great job description is challenging, but the payoff is worth the effort. Attracting serious, qualified nonprofit applicants can reduce employee turnover, increase organizational productivity, and positively contribute to team morale.

Is your nonprofit hiring? Are you a nonprofit professional looking for your next career opportunity? Check out our new nonprofit job board! Members post job listings for free, so join today and start posting. Or, book a meeting with our membership team to learn more.

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