First, the job title needs to apply to me. What are you looking for in the broadest of senses? JAVA Application Developer? ASP.Net Web Developer?
If the job title applies to me I'll read the quick summary under the title. Make sure your first paragraph counts. If the first few sentences sound interesting I'll click through to the full description.
First thing I look at there is the job requirements. If I don't meet at least three I don't read any more.
If I do meet the requirements, I'll look at the nice to have to see if I could highlight any skills on my cover letter.
Next I actually read the description. Things I ask myself:
- Is this a generic HR boilerplate description? If yes, it's probably a bigger company and I will have to go through one HR interview before I talk to anyone technical. If not, it might be a smaller company.
- Are there any spelling mistakes or typos in there? Yes, this makes a difference for me. It shows me the level of detail of the people I'll be working for.
- Is this more than a standard code monkey position? What else would I be expected to do?
- Are there any benefits or perks listed?
- What type of person are they looking for?
I'm more likely to apply to a job that doesn't have a HR job posting. I don't want to go through one or more BS interviews before I finally get to talk to someone who is in the group I'd be working with.
I am more likely to apply for a job that has some excitement about the position. Nerdy and geeky references to show the type of team I'd be working with are a plus. The last position I worked at was a start up and listed 'lightsaber' under assets. :)
Put some work into your job posting to get the type of people you want to join your team. If you post a boilerplate posting you will get generic code monkeys that probably won't be a good fit.