Have you ever bought a car from a used-car lot? We automatically go in with a ton of preconceived notions because used-car salesmen are renowned for not telling the whole truth. The noise you hear every time you turn the car? It doesn’t matter as much to them as it does to you — because they don’t have to drive the car every day.
Oh, I’m not saying that all used-car salesmen are liars. I’m saying that their tactics of rushing people or overselling often make it feel like there’s some secret they’re trying to keep, something they don’t want us to know.
I get the same feeling when there’s a really long “About Us” section at the start of a job posting. I immediately feel like they are overselling this role, and I’m not sure why, but I don’t trust it. I’m not here for the features, and I wonder what you’re keeping from me.
It’s Not About You
If you ask a hiring team why the “About Us” is front and center, they’ll give you a few reasons.
- “I want them to know everything about us.” God forbid someone applies before they know what year you were founded and what you sell.
- “I want them to know everything about our benefits.” As if your high-deductible plan is such a gift.
- “It’s part of the ATS template.” This is the one we can fight the least. (You know you can call the ATS salesperson and ask, though, right? You’re the customer.)
None of these excuses justify selling so hard upfront unless they are truly extraordinary. I’m talking, “the media interviewed us because we’re doing great” extraordinary, not “these are good compared to my last employer” extraordinary. Remember, at this point, we’re trying to discern if this person is qualified, not if they want to be covered by your benefits.
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Leading With a Job Pitch
Instead of leading with the “About Us,” lead with a job pitch. It’s made up of the three things every job-seeker needs to know before they can say yes to the job:
- The impact of their work
- Everyday tasks
- The minimum qualifications for the role
Put the standard “About Us” as the second paragraph. Then, instead of including benefits in this section, include those details in a customized “Thank You For Applying” confirmation email. Also, make sure benefits information is on your website so that if it’s a deal-breaker, job-sekers can find it (because they will find this intel before spending time on your lengthy application if it’s a deal-breaker.)
By making these small swaps, you may see a large shift in the ratio of qualified to unqualified applicants, as well as your volume of applicants. Try moving your “About Us” to a place where it’s not all about you, and measure the shift. You might be surprised how selling in a new way can truly sell your employer as a brand of choice.