5 Tips for Better Job Descriptions
There are thousands of ways you can approach writing a job description. Some companies take a creative approach, while others use the opportunity to spell out all of their corporate perks. Whichever approach you take, the key to writing an effective job description is to keep it concise- Indeed suggests that descriptions between 700 and 1,100 words have a 24% increase in application rate. In that space, you want to qualify candidates’ experience, culture fit, and expertise in order to avoid sifting through the bad fits later on.
Here are five tips to keep in mind when writing winning job descriptions:
1. Understand Your Priorities
It can be tempting to use the job description as a wish-list of qualifications and duties, but this can weed out great culture and soft-skill fits. Depending on your needs, your best-fit candidate may not be the most technically qualified person out searching for a job. Instead, limit yourself to 5-6 responsibilities critical to the role, and consult your department heads to figure out what you should include.
2. Show Off Your Company Culture
Even though your goal is to be concise, don’t shy away from using your job description to convey what it’s actually like to work at your company. Got perks? Shout them out. Got a “fun approach” to engineering? Go ahead, brag a little. It’s good to give applicants a good idea of the day-to-day operations out of the gate.
3. Use Specific Job Titles
Don’t beat around the bush with the job title. If you, or an applicant, aren’t clear what the basic duties of a position are after hearing the title, then you need to change it to something less obscure. Using specific key phrases will also ensure that job seekers can find you more easily in their searches.
4. Save the Soft Skills For the Interview
It’s tempting to devote a chunk of your job description to soft skills like “hard-working” or “self-starting,” but you’re probably just wasting space. You won’t be able to truly gauge an applicant’s character traits until you’ve met for an interview.
5. Be Realistic
Much like understanding your priorities, it’s important to be realistic when laying out the blueprint of a job. Don’t deliberately chase after unicorns (only recent graduates with 10+ years of experience need apply), and don’t alienate good candidates with idealistic lists of requirements and skills. Instead, use the job description to convey the qualities of a strong candidate, and use the interview to narrow down your search to the strongest.