8 Tips for Better Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are your best weapon in the talent wars. Too many employers just don’t put enough effort into crafting them. They write drab, uninspiring words about a role that turnoff potential candidates.

Sadly, this trend isn’t getting any better.

better job descriptions

It takes a writer to write good job descriptions. An HR person does not typically have these skills. Find a good freelance copywriter and have them rewrite all your jobs to make them more marketable. You’ll be truly amazed as to how much better they’ll sound. But if you must write them yourself, follow these guidelines.

TIP#1: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE JOB TITLE

The job title is the most important part of your posting. It has to sell the job. Instead of just listing a simple title like “Sales Representative” do something that gives it context like this: “Sales Representative for a product that sells itself”. Isn’t that more exciting?

Another example: Instead of saying “Web Developer” say something like “Web Developer for a Startup that is changing the industry”.

TIP#2: DIFFERENTIATE YOUR COMPANY

Employers need to emphasize the most interesting aspects of the company and culture. Why should someone work for you? You have to pitch the candidate just as much as they have to pitch themselves. Devise an EVP…employer value proposition that clearly states why you are different.

TIP#3: DON’T GET FANCY

Use simple wording to describe what the job entails. Dont just focus on the day to day details but also be clear as to the “bigger picture” goals. Tell the candidate what success will look like in 30 days, 6 months, 1 year…

TIP #4: JUST THE FACTS

Be sure to explain that only those qualified will be reviewed. Clearly explain what the ‘must-haves’ versus the ‘nice-to-haves’ are. If the posting is not pulling in enough applicants you can always lessen the restrictions later to appeal to a broader group of applicants.

TIP#5: BE BRIEF

Brevity is key, especially on the web and for that matter a mobile screen. It has to be easily scannable on a screen. Don’t use tiny fonts! Use big fonts that stand out for things like the job headline. We prefer at least 14 point font for the body of the description. Another tip, use colors or backgrounds to showcase areas of the posting to break it up into sections for easy reading.

TIP#6: TELL THEM WAHT TO DO

This tip is pretty simple. Put a big Apply button on both the top and bottom of the posting. make it easy for people to understand how to apply. (you may even want to tell them what happens next)

TIP #7: USE IMAGES

Do you have pictures of people doing the job you are advertising? If so, put it in the job description. Job postings with real photos of your employees in action are a great way to sell the job. Here’s an example of a visual job posting. Go visual or go home!

TIP #8: DESCRIBE SUCCESS

Detail what success for the candidate will look like. Describe what accomplishments you expect them to complete. Set their expectations for the first 30 days.

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