How To Write a Job Description That Doesn’t Suck

By Chris Kiertz
January 17, 2017

If you’ve ever had to peruse hundreds of job postings on the internet in search of a new job (which is most of us), you know how frustrating it can be to get excited about a posting, only to find it laden with typos, really bad puns, and no real description of what the responsibilities of the role would be. As an employer writing job descriptions on the daily, it’s important to remember it can be a candidate’s first impression of your company, which means it’s crucial to get right. So, here are four ways to write a job description that doesn’t suck.

1. Be Clear (You Get What You Ask For)

If you need a Staff Coordinator but your job listing is for a vaguely defined assistant, you’re going to have a rough time getting the people you want. Great candidates will get confused and never apply. And don’t worry, your inbox will overflow with resumes…from people who didn’t bother trying to understand your job listing because they didn’t bother reading it. Good luck sorting through all those resumes!

2. Always Double Check the Job Requirements

Sure, you want to attract people with the right skills and experience. On the other hand, errors in the listing can embarrass both you and your company.  One job ad asked for employees with five years of experience using a certain software – a software that entered the market just three years prior. Whoops!

3. Never Trust Spellcheck

It’s amazing how many typos and grammar errors sneak past your word processor’s spellcheck feature. If you’re looking to hire someone at $50,000 but mistakenly write “$5,000 annually,” you can be sure spellcheck won’t catch that, but your candidates will. Just one missing letter or in this case, number, can make a huge difference.

4. Don’t Leave Them Hanging

Lots of businesses look at unsuitable job candidates like a gold panner looks at gravel: something to be filtered out to get at that one great future employee. However, you can turn all those other people into potential future contacts and word-of-mouth advertisers for your business by treating their applications with class. How? Let them know that you received their resume with an automatic acknowledgement of receipt, and create a polite rejection template that you can personalize with little effort.

Practice Makes (Almost) Perfect

There’s no such thing as the perfect job description. But the more you practice the art of a well-written job description, the more you’ll hone your craft. Just like any good piece of writing, it’s important to get feedback, write multiple drafts, and try new things.  Don’t be afraid to keep changing it up until you’ve created that winning formula.



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