Need to attract vital people and drive more applicants to apply to your jobs? In this post, we'll share 35+ tips on how to craft highly effective job descriptions.
There is a constantly rising need for qualified talent and with so few opportunities to connect it's a shame the job description isn't given the attention it deserves.
Grab attention with a great summary
A great job summary should do more than list a set of requirements. It should tell the reader why the opportunity is worth their investment of time, effort and focus. Too many companies open with “A leading provider of…” and then neglect to bring up company mission, vision, and values. Weave a compelling narrative. Talk about how awesome it is to work in your company. Stand out.
Make sure to tell people what they will learn working with you. If you are a funded startup, talk about building something new. Talk about how awesome and fun and hard it is. Talk about how it’s extremely fulfilling and full of purpose and meaning. Tell people about the founder or founding team – and the dream or problem that planted the initial idea. If you have executives with been-there-done-that experience, weave that into the job summary.
Talk about the opportunity, and tell people about the market you are attacking. Mention recent VC funding and the problem you are solving that everyone agrees is a great problem to solve. Speak to the heart by going on about the public service or good you are providing – or how you are serving those less fortunate or saving lives or educating people and creating a better world.
Sell more than the job
For many, jobs are simply too small. It’s important to sell the larger opportunity to attract the right talent. If you sell watches, don’t stop at timepieces. Talk about how you make the little things better. Or talk about your culture. Share something. Share. Sell. Just don’t make it about you. Make it about the candidate. Share with them how they will benefit from being part of your company. Tap into the heart and soul. Talk about careers paths. Jobs are boring. Careers are exciting. You get the point.
If you are hiring into an already established emerging or mid-market organization, the same should apply. Talk about the company and how fast it’s grown, what it sells, the market it serves, the pain that heals. Talk about people who have come in through the front doors to work, and survived and went on through to live successful lives inside other great organizations. Tell people about the team or about the employer and the brand.
Provide an inside-out view
Provide useful insight into what working in the job might be like. If you have great office space and it’s conveniently located near a subway or train or bike path, mention it. If you have 99 restaurants within one square mile of your office, that is worthwhile and interesting. Are you walking distance to a beautiful park system? Or maybe you have a professional learning environment with some of the best mentors and coaches in the area all working inside the company. Tell people about it.
Sell to the audience or persona you want to attract. You can always expand in much more detail on your career section of your website. It’s important to figure out what’s going to appeal to the right candidates you are trying to attract. (Don’t forget to personalize each summary to each persona or audience).
And don’t forget to add a link to your site at the end of your job summary. Your job posting might start on your career portal, but it will eventually be pushed to a job board, and maybe even end up on job boards around the globe. It’s important to have that link to your website so people can find their way home.
Below are 35+ tips to improve your job description:
- job title (keep it simple and search-friendly/keyword-driven)
- reporting relationship or how role ranks with other positions inside the firm
- industry rank compared to others in the field
- awards to serve as a market signal (Best Companies to Work For, Inc. 500/5000, etc.)
- describe your company’s unique culture and team dynamics
- describe your company’s values, mission and vision
- describe your company’s impact or past successes
- describe the growth metrics your company cares about
- describe the position’s value inside the company
- describe how this person fits
- describe the benefit of adding this person to the team
- describe any potential drawbacks (use this as filter)
- describe your ideal candidate and the benefit they receive from working in this company
- describe traits/requirements
- describe essential skills and experience
- describe top performer attributes (fit across culture, performance and role)
- describe the general responsibilities
- describe the key tasks
- describe the level of education
- describe the level of experience
- describe the level of training
- describe the level of technical skills
- describe the benefits
- describe the opportunities for growth, collaboration and leadership
- how much travel is there
- how much heavy lifting
- is there prolonged standing
- are there any exposures to temperatures?
- include “Apply Now” button at the end of the job description
- possibility include application fields on the same job page
- let candidates apply with their LinkedIn or Indeed profile
- embed a culture video
- share social media/follow buttons or links
- include a link to the about us page
- Consider including an employer email/phone or contact URL so people can engage and ask questions.
- Use and lead with “You…” and not “The successful candidate…”
- Use gender neutral wording
To help your company navigate change and lead the shift to modern talent acquisition get in touch, or to join TalentSum as a colleague and do rewarding work that integrates with your life, visit careers to learn more about the profiles we seek.