How to Write Better Job Descriptions: 5 Best Practices
Posted on: March 15, 2019
It’s no secret that the purpose of a job description is to be accurate and attract people to apply. Busy hiring managers often fall back to templated descriptions that don’t make your company look unique. If your organization has open positions, the job descriptions you write need to be on point to attract top talent.
You might be wondering how to write a job description that will entice readers to apply. We’re here to tell you what to include in a job description to make your organization stand out. Keep reading to discover our 5 best practices!
1. Address Your Candidates Directly
Who knew pronouns had so much power? When writing job descriptions, it’s important to consider how you’re addressing your potential candidates. An easy trick is to remember your pronouns.
- You: Too many companies use “they” in job descriptions. For example: “They will work closely with the design team.” By switching from “they” to “you”, it gives a more personal feel and helps candidates picture what it’s like to work with you.
- We: Thinking about what to include in a job description? Use “we” so candidates begin to feel like they are a part of your team. For example: “At ABC Industries, we help our clients get the best products.”
2. Be More Flexible with Job Requirements
When you’re thinking about how to write a job description, it’s easy to start listing all the requirements you can think of. While the temptation is there, you should use some restraint. By putting an extensive requirement list in your description, you can turn applicants away by being too intimidating. This fact is even more relevant for entry level positions or recent college graduates.
To stay clear of this problem, you should write a concise list of key requirements you’re looking for. Try to place a realistic limit on yourself when writing. An added benefit of having a concentrated list of requirements is that applicants will see them as more of a necessity due to the number of them. That perception will even help your job description filter itself for higher quality candidates.
3. Be Mobile Friendly
More and more job applicants are using their phones to search for their next career opportunity. That means that job descriptions absolutely need to be mobile friendly. Substitute long lengthy paragraphs for bullet points and add well placed subheads, so your job description is easier for applicants to skim.
We know that it can be hard to be concise, but it’s also a good thing to be direct with job seekers. If you’re ever on the fence about if the description is mobile friendly, the best way to find out for sure is to field test it. Go to your job post on your phone and rate the experience.
4. Primary Responsibilities Should Be Obvious
Many aspects of how to write a job description is in the details. Applicants are expecting to learn the details of a position from your description, so it isn’t the time to be vague or generic. This position might be part of the Human Resources team, but don’t leave the statement there. Talk to the appropriate team so you can include specific responsibilities.
Which sounds better?
- You’ll become a member of the Human Resources team.
- You’ll be interviewing job candidates and working with team members to evaluate their compatibility with the company.
You guessed it, the second one! Adding details like this gives your applicants a better idea of what the job is like and the skills they’ll need to succeed in it.
5. Customize the Job Role to Your Mission
Are you thinking about what to include in a job description that will set it over the top? Customize it to your mission. How do you accomplish this? Start by including any exciting projects that this new team member will become a part of. There are plenty of details you can include outside of compensation that interest candidates.
Another good tip is to include any videos or bios of team members that will be working with the applicant. It gives the candidate a direct look into how their role will impact the culture and mission of the organization.
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