Tips for Writing Better Job Descriptions

Why do we need another tutorial on writing job descriptions? After all, there are a countless number of articles that focus on writing a great job description right, so why add to the pile?

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Most tips for writing great job descriptions focus on content. Yes, you have to have good content. That said, I can often tell within a matter of seconds which descriptions will work and which ones will fail. Formatting and appearance tells me a lot, even before I even evaluate the content.

It’s important to keep in mind that potential applicants are evaluating your company as much as you’re evaluating applicants. Poorly formatted, hard to read, non-descriptive job descriptions are liable to turn-off the best candidate.

Following these crucial components will help you to write a more effective job description, which in turn will lead to higher quality applicants submitting their resumes to your position

Tip #1: Keep it simple

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” – Mark Twain
  • Less is better: try to describe on the core essence of your open position – job duties, qualifications and requirements.
  • Focus on the biggest priority tasks for a position, save the details for the interview
  • Remove the obvious, focus on the unique – everyone wants a salesperson with a hunter mentality, focus on the unique skills you want a salesperson to demonstrate
  • Keep your description to less than a page, preferably allowing a web viewer to see the entire description without having to scroll the page.

Tip #2: Bold and bullets are your friends

  • Use bold within a description, but use sparingly
  • Use bold to separate your description into distinct zones; job title, skills, qualifications, and apply process
  • Use bullets to provide flow and spacing within those zones, try keeping bulleted phrases to a single line
    try to limit each job description zone to 6 bullets each

Tip #3: Insert your company culture into your job description

  • Is your office quirky, good-natured, fun, sports-minded, competitive, deadly serious?
  • Use that atmosphere and inject it into your description
  • Remember you are looking for a person to enter your culture who will reflect those attitudes and values
  • An effective job description will mirror the characteristics of the office environment, attracting those who share in those traits

Tip #4: Sweat the details

  • Include a link to your company website or careers page.
  • Include a summary of the organization at the top of each job opening
  • To effectively brand your organization, this summary should be consistent across all job openings
  • Insert a company logo or other visuals whenver job boards allow it
  • Have a clear process for people to apply for your job, in other words, don’t have an apply button and an email address listed in the same posting
  • Unless you want to be hounded by applicants, keep your personal contact details out of postings.

This process is not easy. People naturally tend to rush through this procedure, trying to get something up without spending time on the process. However, once you begin to implement these ideas and incorporate them into your job writing process, you will see it becomes easier.

So take your time and think about these steps as you create listings. If all goes right, you will a see a markable difference in the number of quality responses to your listings.

Posting on HiringThing? We’re happy to help you put together a great job description. Just drop us a note!


Author: HiringThing

HiringThing is easy to use, intuitive online recruiting software that makes it easy to post jobs online, manage applicants and hire great employees.