Keep it Simple: Writing Focused Job Descriptions

writing focused job descriptions

Writing job descriptions that draw candidates’ attention and result in applications is not as easy as it sounds. You want to generate response, so you will need your job descriptions to be as interesting as possible. But too often job descriptions wind up sounding phony or clichéd.

Here are some quick tips to keep it simple:

Make the job description exciting

  • Job postings should be written to entice the candidate. Find the best feature of the job and highlight it!
  • Provide enough detailed information that the candidate feels compelled to apply
  • Include a brief overview of the hiring company. Why do people like to work there?

Make it searchable

  • Use clear and concise job titles that are searchable, avoiding abbreviations or acronyms
  • Repeat the job title as frequently as possible throughout the ad to aid in Search Engine Optimization
  • Include industry-specific words to funnel out people who aren’t a match

Outline the details

  • Include no more than 4 to 5 unique, day-to-day tasks, specific to the job title and the overall position function – too many can be a turn-off! Don’t include the obvious.
  • List 3 to 4 specific requirements or necessary qualifications/licenses
  • Clarify any benefits or salary data towards the bottom of the description
  • Keep it short, a recent Linkedin study showed that shorter job posts (300 words or less) had significantly higher-than-average apply rates per view (the number of applications the job post got divided by the number of views).

Be real

  • Avoid silly titles like “rock-star”, “ninja”, and “guru”. They’re not searchable and turn off some candidates.
  • Try to avoid typical meaningless jargon like “results-driven”, “successful”, and “high-paced”.
  • Steer clear of clichés. Some expressions have become so overused they just make people’s eyes glaze over. Skip phrases like “detail-oriented,” “multi-tasker,” and “self-motivated.”

Appeal to everyone

  • Be sure all verbiage is gender neutral to welcome men and women to apply
  • Check your spelling and grammar – nothing looks more unprofessional than misspellings and grammatical errors

Above all, don’t over complicate it. You can’t describe the full position in a 300-word posting. Save the particulars for your screening call or the interview

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