Writing job descriptions can be a daunting task for employers. It requires a balance of being concise and detailed, informative yet intriguing, and of course, avoiding any potential legal issues. As a recruiter, I have seen countless job descriptions and I have a few tips and tricks up my digital sleeve to help you write effective job descriptions that will attract top talent to your organization.
So grab a pen and paper, or open up a blank document, and let’s dive into the art of writing effective job descriptions.
Step 1: Start with a catchy job title
The first thing a potential candidate will see when browsing through job listings is the job title. This is your chance to make a great first impression and catch their attention. While it’s important to be accurate and straightforward with your job title, it doesn’t hurt to add a little flair. For example, instead of “Marketing Manager,” try “Marketing Mastermind.” It’s simple, but it adds a little personality to the job listing and might make a candidate more interested in learning more about the position.
Step 2: Include a brief summary of the role
After the job title, it’s time to provide a brief overview of the role. This should be a summary of the key responsibilities and requirements for the job. Think of it as an elevator pitch for your position. This section should be short and sweet, but still, give the candidate a good idea of what the job entails. Avoid using too much jargon or technical language that might confuse potential candidates.
Step 3: List the essential duties and responsibilities
Now it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty of the job description. This section should list the essential duties and responsibilities of the position. Be specific and detailed, but also concise. Use bullet points to break up the information and make it easier to read.
It’s important to make sure that the duties and responsibilities listed are actually essential to the job. Don’t include tasks that are irrelevant or that could be done by someone else in the organization. This will only make the job description longer and more confusing for potential candidates.
Step 4: Outline the qualifications and requirements
This section should outline the qualifications and requirements for the job. This includes education, experience, and any necessary certifications or licenses. Be realistic in your expectations and don’t set the bar too high. At the same time, make sure that the requirements listed are necessary for the job. For example, if the job requires a certain degree, make sure that it’s actually relevant to the position.
It’s also important to avoid any language that might be considered discriminatory. For example, don’t list age, gender, or race as a requirement for the job.
Step 5: Add some personality
While it’s important to be professional in your job description, that doesn’t mean you can’t add some personality. This can be done through the tone of the writing, the use of language, and even a little humour. Don’t be afraid to inject some personality into the job description, especially if it reflects the culture of your organization.
Step 6: Make it easy to apply
Finally, make sure that the job description includes clear instructions on how to apply. This should include any necessary documents, such as resumes or cover letters, as well as any specific instructions on how to submit the application. Make it easy for candidates to apply and follow up with them in a timely manner.
Writing effective job descriptions is an art form. It requires a balance of being informative, intriguing, and avoiding any potential legal issues. By following these steps and injecting a little personality, you can write job descriptions that will attract top talent to your organization.
The Dos and Don’t
- Do be specific: Use clear language and be specific about the job duties, qualifications, and requirements.
- Do be concise: Use bullet points and short paragraphs to make the job description easy to read.
- Do add some personality: Make the job description stand out by adding a little personality to it.
- Do proofread: Double-check for any typos, grammar mistakes, or formatting errors.
- Do make it easy to apply: Include clear instructions on how to apply and what documents are required.
- Don’t use discriminatory language: Avoid any language that could be considered discriminatory based on age, gender, race, or any other factor.
- Don’t exaggerate: Be honest about the job duties and requirements. Don’t exaggerate or make promises that can’t be fulfilled.
- Don’t make it too long: Keep the job description concise and to the point. Don’t include irrelevant information or unnecessary details.
- Don’t forget to update: Keep the job description up-to-date and revise it as needed.
- Don’t neglect the company culture: Make sure the job description reflects the culture and values of your organization.
In conclusion, writing effective job descriptions is crucial for attracting top talent to your organization. By following these tips and keeping in mind the dos and don’ts, you can create job descriptions that are informative, intriguing, and reflect the personality of your organization. So go ahead and put your newfound skills to the test and watch as the applications start rolling in. Happy hiring!
An example of a job description:
Position: Social Media Rockstar
Do you spend more time scrolling through social media than sleeping? Do you have a knack for creating engaging content that makes people want to click, like, and share? Then put down that phone and apply to be our Social Media Rockstar! We’re looking for someone who can take our social media presence to the next level and help us connect with our audience in a fun and authentic way.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Develop and execute social media strategies that make our competitors jealous
- Create killer content that gets people talking and sharing, including memes, gifs, and funny videos (yes, we said funny)
- Monitor social media trends and come up with creative ways to capitalize on them (sorry, no dabbing allowed)
- Analyze social media metrics and adjust our strategy as needed (math skills required, or at least the ability to use a calculator)
- Collaborate with our marketing and creative teams to make sure our social media game is on point
Qualifications and Requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or a related field (or a degree in binge-watching Netflix)
- 3+ years of experience in social media marketing (sorry, no social media newbies allowed)
- Strong writing skills and the ability to create content that’s both informative and entertaining (bonus points if you can make us snort coffee out of our noses)
- Familiarity with social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn (if you’re still using MySpace, we can’t help you)
- A sense of humor (if you don’t find this job description funny, we’re not a match)
We want someone who’s not afraid to take risks and try new things (as long as they don’t involve jumping out of airplanes or swimming with sharks). You should be able to balance humor with professionalism and know how to keep things lighthearted without crossing the line. Bonus points if you can handle the occasional bad pun or dad joke.
Instructions to Apply:
To apply, please send us your resume, cover letter, and your favorite social media post (either one you’ve created or one that’s made you laugh out loud). We promise we won’t judge you for your questionable taste in memes.
About the Author
Ritu Bhatnagar is a seasoned recruiter with over 15 years of experience in the industry. She founded her own recruitment agency, Jasper Middle East, which specializes in placing top talent in diverse industries. It has offices in UAE and India. Ritu is passionate about connecting businesses with the best talent available and has built a reputation for providing high-quality service. When she’s not recruiting, Ritu can be found exploring her love for fitness and practicing yoga.