Monday Motivation: 3 Ways to Make Job Opportunities Sound More Attractive

Photo of excited man and 3 Ways to Make Job Opportunities Sound More AttractiveSuppose you’re a job seeker, and you are scrolling through job postings social media, LinkedIn jobs or Indeed.
Most read like this:
  • Boring job description title
  • Paragraph 1: Boring job description
  • Paragraph 2 (with way too many bullet points): Even more boring-sounding job duties
  • Paragraph 3: Bland-sounding company or organization description (if it’s even included)
  • Folded into all of the paragraphs: Industry-related jargon and acronyms (education, I’m looking at YOU!), which screams “UNINVITING!” even louder.
No one ever said that job postings are required to be boring, but, wow….way too many ARE.
Consider this:
  • Every school district is hiring for the same jobs, and each is trying to reach similar audiences.
  • Education is getting publicly walloped by burned out employees, radical groups, politicians, and the media.  While exciting sounding job postings won’t turn this ship, bland, impersonal job postings only reinforce the negative perceptions of education.
  • Boring doesn’t sell, ever.
Here’s the bottom line: You’re seeking to hire the best, brightest, and talented employees to do the great work that educators, education leaders, and education support staff do.  So, why not make your job postings sparkle and invite people into your wonderful organization?
Look, I know that there are some legal aspects–you need to have approved job titles and full job descriptions including with each of your job postings.  But, you have to attract people to the point of reading those by attracting them with compelling content.
Here are three ways to accomplish this:
  • Bring your audience into your district by sharing what is special and unique about your district.  Here are a couple of examples from the job post introductions I recently wrote for a client:
    • “When you are hired in {School District}, you’re not just hired for a job, you’re fulfilling a purpose. Each {School District} employee makes our schools supportive, safe and positive places for our students to learn.”
    • “Did you know that on average, {School District} employees have an average of 13.5 years working in the {School District}?  They frequently note that our family environment is one of the main reasons why they enjoy working here, and that they can make a positive difference in the lives of our students and their families.  The great news is that we are inviting more people to join the {School District} family!”
  • Describe the purpose the job fulfills in your district. People want to know that their job is purposeful, and not just a job. Here’s an example of a description I wrote about a Food Service Supervisor position:
    • “Did you know that nutrition is one of the key areas of importance to ensure that students are healthy and learn well? In {School District} , we are continually striving for ways to nourish our students in healthy ways, and each day we serve breakfast and lunch to over 2,000 students from preschool through grade 6, plus grades 7-8 in our charter school program. We are seeking a Food Services Supervisor who is passionate about planning and serving nutritious and delicious meals to our students, while also adhering to safety practices and providing technical direction to front‐line food service staff so that meals can be prepared and served safely and efficiently.”
    • Here’s a more generic, but impactful way to link purpose to any job in your district: “When you are hired in {School District} , you’re not just hired for a job, you’re fulfilling a purpose. Each {School District} employee makes our schools supportive, safe and positive places for our students to learn.”
  • Create an eye-catching image to accompany your social media post. I see a lot of full position announcements posted as the image for job postings on social media.  These are incredibly hard-to-read on mobile devices.  However, you should attract people to the position information and include just enough information on the image to compel them to read your post and click on your link to apply or learn more. Some tips:
    • Include brief pieces of pertinent information: Position title, salary, hours, bonus info, etc. Don’t include too much information that you have to make it too small to read.
    • Make sure that your image portrays the ethnicities and cultures represented in your district.

Here’s an example of an Instagram and LinkedIn image I created for a client’s job post:

Teacher job announcement image

Bonus tip: Try finding 5-6 different intros that you can vary with your job postings to keep them from sounding stale.

And, you’re in luck!  If you need help putting together content and images for your job postings, this is one of the many services that Sounding Board provides its clients.  So, contact us if you’re looking for more ways to attract the best, brightest, and talented employees to your district.

Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion–separately and together–have become a highly trending topic in business and public education.

As one who studies trends and is also highly sensitive to “jumping on the trend bandwagon” instead of jumping ahead and posting my personal and business “Diversity, equity and inclusion statement” (as many have in recent years), I decided to observe what my clients are doing in this space, what I’ve always done in this space (and didn’t have a term or terms to describe it), and what businesses are doing in this space, so that I can get a better understanding of how I can best support my clients in their DEI initiatives.

Recently, I was asked about Sounding Board’s expertise is in DEI.  I am highly aware that as a white, blonde, blue-eyed business owner, I don’t necessarily look the part of someone who has a strong understanding and expertise in this space. However, I do want to provide some context and background: I was born and raised in San Jose, CA, where I ultimately graduated from college and started her career working for city councilmembers in one of the most diverse cities in the nation–—gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability status, socio-economic background, experience and more. These experiences provided me the opportunity to develop a strong foundation, deep respect, and cultural consciousness within the workplace and also through my work and approaches in public relations and communications.

I am constantly learning and growing in my understanding of DEI. I constantly find myself in a very humbling position where my assumptions and understanding are always being tested–something I embrace with deep gratitude.  As one who works with educators, my hope is that my openness and ever-evolving learning, quest for deepened wisdom and understanding is welcomed.  It is for these reasons that I will not claim myself as a DEI expert. To be clear: I am a communication, PR and marketing expert who uses best practices in my industry while infusing DEI standards into my work. There are a number of deeply talented, experienced and educated individuals who have dedicated their careers to this space, well-before this became a focus point for many organizations. I have a deep regard and respect for their research, knowledge and experience, and will readily refer clients to them if they need this expertise.

The DEI standards to which Sounding Board itself to when approaching client communications include:

  • We embrace the diversity of our clients’ employees, families and communities;
  • We will ensure that our client’s strategies will include fair and equitable treatment, access, opportunity, and engagement for all and will create an environment that respects and values all perspectives, especially ensuring that persons within historically underrepresented groups are included and represented;
  • We use the most effective and culturally-relevant approaches to best reach all of our clients’ communities and families, including the hardest to reach individuals, who may not have access to or respond best to technology;
  • We communicate and deliver communications in culturally-relevant and accessible ways; and
  • We incorporate and reflect the diversity and values of our clients’ communities and families  through our communications.

Every one of our communications that we create for our clients must incorporate these standards, and we only work with contractors who abide by these same standards.  These standards will evolve with my understanding and knowledge.

Relevant Work in DEI

 Sounding Board’s involvement in clients’ DEI initiatives include creating and manage the development of district reports, presentations, video, social media and website content and media relations to promote and communicate the progress and impact that school district clients are making in the areas of mental health, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including:

  • Robla School District’s Resilience Program; 
  • Oroville Union High School District’s reduction in the suspensions and expulsions of students of color; 
  • Murrieta Valley Unified School District’s approaches to communicating employees’ gender identity changes; and 
  • Redwood City School District’s approach to increasing the diversity, inclusion and equity in restructuring a school for gifted students.

Each of these initiatives require incremental, long-term approaches that create impact and change.

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