Writing a good job description can be a challenging process. It requires a deliberate balance between providing enough detail to draw in great candidates without using so much that people aren’t engaged or interested. Is your business writing job descriptions that are as good as they could be? If not, it could be missing out on attracting high quality applicants to fill open positions and provide real value.
If you’re interested in improving your business’s job descriptions, doing so could be as simple as making a few small changes to your writing style to better define your available jobs and attract higher quality applicants.
From identifying the most important skills to reading listings from your competitors to learn more about what’s already working, read on to discover five tips for writing more detailed, effective job descriptions for your business.
1. Define the key skills the job requires.
What are the key skills and competencies that prospective employees need to have to fill your available position? Your job listing needs to clearly communicate any and all essential skills in order to avoid attracting unsuitable candidates.
Start your job description writing process by noting the four or five most important competencies for prospective hires. Then, when you’re writing the listing, use these as key points in each section of your copy.
You can list essential skills and competencies in bullet point form, or include them in your job description. The key point is to make sure they’re included, as they play an important role in defining the type of candidate you’re searching for.
2. Outline duties and responsibilities.
What duties and responsibilities does the role require? What will the future worker be responsible for? What are the key points of the job that will require the most time and attention?
As well as outlining the key skills the job requires, it’s important that you outline the duties and responsibilities that the person you eventually hire will need to deal with as part of the position.
Just like with the key skills and competencies the job requires, you can list duties as bullet points or provide a longer description of the work involved in the role, giving prospective applicants more information on the position.
3. Be fun, but use familiar terminology.
Job listings often tend towards the extremes: they’re either extremely bland, written using dense corporate language and buzzwords, or so casual and lighthearted that it can be hard to tell exactly what type of job they’re describing.
The best job listings strike a balance between the two extremes. They’re easy for the prospective applicant to read and understand, but heavy enough on the details that it’s immediately clear what the job entails and what skills are required.
From using too many buzzwords to avoiding the essential details of the job, it’s vital that you choose language that doesn’t affect your listing’s usefulness. Stick to simple, familiar terminology that your target audience of applicants can easily understand.
4. Talk about the relationships involved.
What relationships are involved in the position? Every job requires working with other people, and it’s important that prospective applicants understand who they will be working with as part of your business.
As part of your job description, list the people that the prospective applicant will report to – for example, a manager or executive – as well as the people that they’ll spend most of their time with as part of their job.
This is important because it helps people understand how they will fit in as part of your business. Listing important relationships also defines the job and attracts an audience of people who already have experience in similar positions.
5. Make sure you’re being realistic.
Are you asking for too much? Many job descriptions include long lists of required skills that, while fantastic when available, just aren’t possessed by the majority of job seekers.
One simple way to ensure you aren’t being unrealistic in your job description is to look at listings from competitors. Are your competitors demanding in their lists of skills and competencies, or are their listings more concise?
It’s important to define who and what you’re looking for. At the same time, however, being too selective about the skills your job requires could result in you attracting a far small audience of applicants and struggling to find a good candidate.