How to Write Great Job Descriptions
Get Top Candidates to say YES to your Job!
Today I am focusing on one of the fundamental tools of recruiting top talent – job descriptions. I realize that many companies think of a job description as just another function of the recruiting process, but in reality, a job description is the recruiting world’s best advertising tool.
The main reason we use job descriptions is to advertise on sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, Craigslist, Monster, Hired, Glassdoor, etc. Remember, if you want to hire the best, you need to put forth your best effort in writing a compelling job description.
Ready for top candidates to respond to your next job posting?
Here are my 7 favorite tips on writing captivating and successful job descriptions:
1.Use branding in your job description:
A job description is the first impression a candidate has with your hiring process and possibly even your company. Try to use the same formatting, fonts, colors and language that is used throughout the rest of your branding. If your company uses a friendly tonality while communicating, make sure that shines through in your description. The same goes for a more buttoned up or conservative company, a young company, or a high end one. Take a look at your company website and blog for examples.
2.Take your audience into account:
Before writing a single word, it is critical to understand who your audience is. You will want to tailor your writing style and word choice you are trying to recruit and whether they are a seasoned executive or a recent graduate for an entry level position. If writing a job description for an executive position, the words you choose should reflect an elevated need and high level of thinking. These people are probably very familiar with industry jargon and technology as well as the general responsibilities of the role. When recruiting for an entry level position, take into account their lack of industry experience, their love of technology, and their eagerness to learn.
3.Write an irresistible subject line or post title:
This is copywriting 101. In order to get people to read your carefully crafted job description, you must give them a reason to click your ad over the hundreds of other job postings out there. Many companies believe they need to post the exact title of the job they are hiring for, this will actually deter more candidates from reading your post than it will attract them. Go with standard industry titles to optimize your job search results and reach a wider range of candidates. For example: If your company refers to a “Project Manager” as a “Mid-level Project Organizer” you should to go with the former.
4.Use searchable keywords:
The way we use keywords to find candidates on job platforms is actually the same technique candidates are using to find jobs on the same websites. When thinking about what words to include, get in the mindset of a candidate searching for your job. Take a minute and do a quick search on Google, LinkedIn, or any other site to see if your keywords return the intended results. If so, you will definitely want to include these keywords in your job description to give your ad the best chance of getting in front of potential candidates.
5.Keep the summary and job description organized and specific
I always recommend starting with a job summary that discusses the main components of the job and what the big picture looks like. Then, go into the specifics of the job and the essential skills needed to succeed in the position. Including a section at the bottom that highlights the skills or personal attributes that would make a candidate a shoe-in.
6.Use headers, bullets, and bold text:
Take a page from email marketing and make your ad easily readable by using headers, subheaders, bullets, and bold or italicized text to organize and highlight the important areas of your description. This way candidates can easily digest the important key responsibilities and requirements. If your description is too dense and detailed candidates are more likely to pass on applying.
7.The job post isn’t just about your wants and needs:
A big mistake is making a job post only about what your company’s wants and needs are. Make sure to discuss the lovability of your company and include why someone would want to work there. Even better, discuss how the candidate could feel and what they would get personally and professionally if they decide to work with your company. A good way to do this is including a “Why work here” section in the job description.
Reworking or updating a job description can feel like a big task, but if done right, can have a positive impact on the quality and quantity of applicants. Remember that practice makes perfect and remember to change your job descriptions depending on what you have learned performs well and what doesn’t. You job descriptions will most likely change over time along with the responsibilities of the position. You have the ability to learn as much from a job description as your candidates do!
I have the pleasure of working with very talented and highly skilled individuals. Each week I will be featuring a great candidate that is ready to start a new chapter in their career.
Meet our Executive Administrative Assistant:
This experienced Executive Administrator is looking to put her years of proven ability to work in a company with growth opportunity. After starting at a large National company, she was quickly promoted and took on more responsibility in an Executive Administrative role where she flourished as the office go-to person. Unfortunately the company she had been working with over the last decade was recently forced to implement severe company-wide layoffs.
After completing a degree in technical training, she went back to school to peruse her Masters. With her sharp and clever characteristics and everlasting pursuit of knowledge, this candidate will be a strong pillar of support and reliance for any team.
- Supported a five member team of Executives and the department Director.
- Assisted with front desk duties for office of 50 employees when necessary.
- Assisted HR department in managing new hires; processed and organized paperwork for exempt, non-exempt, adjunct faculty and federal work study employees.
- Processed bank reconciliations, AP & AR invoices, employee payroll, expense reports, and managed all employee sick and vacation benefits.
- Executed inventory control and supply ordering for over 50 employees and successfully saved 10% off of the supply budget.
- In charge of department database management; direct contact for employees regarding all office equipment; set-up and troubleshooting all employees on company networks, computers, and phone lines.
- Composing correspondence, document transcription, data entry and database management, sales & commission tracking and audits.
Give us a call at 925.303.4664 to set up an interview with this adept Executive Administrator, or to find out more about our other talented professionals!