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5 Tips to Write Better Job Descriptions

Designed by Freepik.comNo matter where they appear, and in what format, they are part of the communication needed for companies to source, interview and hire the right talent.  While it’s not likely for modern job seekers to go through a newspaper with a red pen and circle what catches their eye, job descriptions still play a part in the recruitment mix, especially online, on social media and of course, on mobile.

You want to generate interest in your company and what it’s like to work for your organization. Unfortunately, job descriptions aren’t always up to snuff, as they’re often poorly written, boring and un-focused. Many candidates turn away from these types of hiring collateral, seeking a role, and company that is clearly hiring for what they’re looking for in their career.

To ensure your job descriptions are effective, strategic and helping you grab the talent you need to drive your business forward, consider these tips:

  1. Showcase your culture
    While a job description may not be the first place a candidate interacts with your brand, it should act as an extension of your company’s identity. It may seem easier to go with a dry and straightforward description, but think about how you can use a job description to highlight your employment brand. This may include writing the description in your company’s brand voice, and/or drawing attention to your amazing perks and benefits. Be sure to toot your own horn about what sets a particular job or your company apart.
  1. Skip the buzzwords
    Getting caught up in the day-to-day jargon of our respective industries happens to the best of us, but when it comes to job descriptions, you want to focus on clarity. Candidates reading your posting may not be familiar with your organization’s vernacular. Leave the buzzwords and acronyms to the side, and clearly describe what skills are required for the role.This is especially important for IT roles, as candidates need to know what specific technologies and certifications are required. In addition, you want to include details on the projects the person will be supporting and items you want them to accomplish; this will help the candidate paint a picture of the IT role and provide excitement about the challenges presented.
  1. Format, format, format
    It’s tricky to know how a job description will appear across various devices and browsers, but take an extra moment to consider format before you post one giant block of text. Does it make sense to use bullets to draw attention to the most important information? What about using links to videos and other sites? Or using photos and images?It’s also important to know how the description may appear on mobile devices — as 47 percent of millennial job seekers in a 2015 Jobvite survey said that they use mobile in their job search. You don’t want to turn off a potential star hire because your posting wasn’t easily accessible on mobile.
  1. Don’t be too broad
    Finding that unicorn employee, the one who encompasses everything you ever possibly need, is a lofty (read: often unattainable) goal. When you’re writing job descriptions, focus on including what’s essential for someone to do the job; not a laundry list of all the skills, things or experiences that would be nice for them to have.
  1. Proofread!
    Be sure to thoroughly edit your job description for grammar, spelling and typos before posting it. You especially want to test the links you include to ensure they aren’t broken.

No matter where your target talent is searching for jobs or learning about the types of roles your company has to offer, you want your job descriptions to appeal to them. By thinking outside of the typical job description box and spending a little extra time writing content, you’ll be on the way to attracting your next great hire.

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