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Blog>Guides>How to Write a Job Description: Tips and Best Practices for the Job at Hand

How to Write a Job Description: Tips and Best Practices for the Job at Hand

Article index

Overview

  • How you can write an effective job description
  • Why careful consideration is important
  • What information to include
  • Where you can post your job ad

Introduction

Job descriptions are a key component of any job posting. A great description lets job seekers know exactly what you’re looking for and the type of work requirements expected. This can help you attract the best candidates for the role and minimize the overall time spent during the hiring process.

And more than just attracting the right candidates, a well-developed job description lets job seekers get a sense of the organization’s company culture and values. In today’s job market, the job description can be just as important as a candidate’s resume. You want your job post to stick out (in a good way) and attract qualified candidates.

In this article, we’ll discuss some important tips and best practices to consider that can help you develop effective job descriptions.

Why Careful Consideration Must Be Put Into Job Descriptions

A job post’s description is an important part of establishing what you’re looking for in a new hire. This baseline lets potential candidates know what you expect and what they can expect in terms of job duties, company culture, and any extra perks that come with the job.

Unclear job descriptions can attract a lot of candidates, but many of whom might unfortunately turn out unqualified. It’s important for you — as the employer or hiring manager — to know what you are looking for in job candidates.

Careful consideration early on can help save you from frustration in the future. Some ways you can accomplish this include involving other employees, choosing unbiased language when writing your job descriptions, and mentioning possibilities of growth within the company.

Read on for some tips you can use when writing your job description.

Tips and Best Practices for Writing a Job Description

A good job description goes beyond a title or a bullet point list of required skills and desired qualifications. Carefully crafted, targeted job descriptions can attract qualified candidates and help you avoid hiring the wrong candidate.

Below are tips and practices you should consider when writing job descriptions.

Involve Relevant Employees When Writing the Job Description

It’s not uncommon for a team’s needs to change. Touching base with relevant employees can help you develop a great job description based on current demands.

When you involve other employees in the process, you’ll gain leverage in understanding the specific requirements of the role, such as what works and where help is most needed. Ask for employee input. They can let you know what skill set the right candidates need.

Be Unbiased to Candidates in Your Description

Biased language in your job description can limit diversity in your workplace and affect the number of qualified applicants who may apply. You can avoid this by eliminating gender-specific terms in your job posting.

Gendered language is non-inclusive and, in today’s modern world, imprecise. Many people no longer correlate “man” with “people.” And while these can be easy to spot or change, there are some other ways you can write using gender-inclusive language, such as choosing non-gendered nouns, like “individual” or “they.”

Gender-coded language can affect how job seekers feel about a company or organization. Masculine or feminine coded words can often create a sense of feeling out of place or feel as though they are not the right candidate for the role — even when all job requirements are met.

When composing a job description, choose gender-neutral language. The United Nations offers a list that can help you use gender-inclusive language when writing descriptions about open roles within your organization.

Accurately Discuss Company Culture

Long gone are the days when a job was just a job. Fitting in, working conditions, and overall job satisfaction and enjoyment are important aspects that potential candidates seriously consider when applying for jobs.

Include your organization’s company culture when writing your job description. This can include employee benefits, flexible work schedules, work-from-home (WFH) opportunities, wellness packages, and any other perks you may offer. Display all the great offerings you bring to employees, and you’ll have a better chance at attracting highly qualified, motivated candidates.

Mention Possibilities for Growth

Stagnancy is boring, and a lot of people want to grow within their industry. Engage with candidates and show excitement for the future of your organization and theirs.

Talk about the potential for growth and how achievements are rewarded. You can do this by including measurable performance objectives. This can attract goal-minded candidates, which is likely who you want to bring on board in the first place.

Avoid Exaggerated Buzzwords or Superlatives

Buzzwords can quickly become a job description’s buzzkill. Overused words and superlatives can offput many candidates and prevent them from applying for the role.

Most people will already assume you want a skilled, qualified job candidate, so you can avoid phrases like “best in class” or “expert.” Other words to avoid include “rockstar” or “guru.” These are vague, and not everyone can relate their skill set to these types of descriptive words.

Although the intention is likely to advertise a fun work environment, it’s best to keep the language of the job description easy to understand and avoid over-the-top language.

Carefully Review the Details Mentioned

As you write the job description, review the details. Is the job title clear? Are the job requirements current? Is this a full-time or part-time opportunity? Is there anything missing? For instance, do you typically add a salary range to your job postings? Do you want a cover letter in addition to a resume when potential candidates submit their applications? What about social media accounts? Do you want them to include URLs so that you can look at their LinkedIn profiles?

At this stage, add all the extras that pertain to the job post and refine where necessary. You may want to include a disclaimer statement at this point. Although not always necessary, it can help minimize any issues that arise from missing information or assignment of tasks and responsibilities not listed in the job description.

Create a Sense of Urgency for the Job

When you create a sense of urgency, candidates will feel more compelled to apply for the role. Stating a timeline can help, such as adding a due date. You can also create importance within the description by including the hiring manager’s contact information.

When you create a call to action (CTA) for job candidates, it can create energy and excitement, even for those who may not even be looking for that particular job. When done right, this can diversify your pool of potential candidates.

Have Multiple Parties Review When Finished

At the end of the day, your job description is your organization’s advertisement — its face to the world. You want a job post that exemplifies your organization. Design, grammar, and spelling are important details that job candidates can and will judge you on. Typos and poor design can deter ideal candidates from your organization. With this in mind, review the work when finished.

Catching your own errors can prove difficult, though. After you proofread, have someone else proofread it again. You may even ask for another round just to make sure nothing has slipped by. Extra eyes can catch errors that can save you from embarrassment or from excluding important information.

Your Next Hire Is Searching for You Now on Joblist

By now, you have an arsenal of tools that can help you write an engaging job description, opening up a pool of qualified job candidates for your job application.

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