Imagine this: As you open your inbox, you see less than the desired number of applications after you published your job posting. You shrugged and believed that you would have gotten at least a handful of quality applicants. While you comb through the applications, you shake your head as the outlook of offering even one interview looks bleak…
Have you ever experienced that? Or maybe, you’re currently writing your first job description and you don’t know where to start. Fret not, MatcHub is here to give you 5 best tips on how you can write attractive job descriptions that will allow your job to stand out from the sea of job posts.
Think of a job description as a sales pitch to candidates. Grabbing their attention is important, but retaining their interest is equally as essential in an effective job description. More importantly, a good job description not only has to be attention-grabbing, it also has to attract the right talent for your job and company. In addition to the role descriptions and skills required, companies can also emphasise their company culture and values to make their job application look even more attractive.
Here’s how to write awesome job descriptions that will get you noticed:
1. Get straight to the point
If you struggle to attract applicants to your job, you may be using the wrong job titles. We’ve been noticing a rise in the number of companies looking for digital marketing “gurus” or “genius” software engineers. This Indeed article even talks about how they spotted a search for duct cleaning “ninja”!
While using quirky vocabulary can imply a fun work culture, candidates usually search for jobs that match their skills, like “data analyst”, not “data wizard”. Keeping this in mind, when writing job descriptions and especially in titles, focus on keywords that candidates would tend to key into search bars.
It is important to be specific and direct, while avoiding both vague and overly-specific job titles. Instead, create a title that appropriately describes both the level of responsibility and job role. For example: “Director of ABC Programme of XYZ Department” would be too specific, while simply “Director” would be too general. In this case, “Programme Director” would be a happy medium.
2. Make your overview engaging and attention-grabbing
The overview or summary of the job should be about 1 to 4 sentences long. It should include main points of the job description, and summarise responsibilities and functions. To grab the attention of candidates, you may also choose to elaborate briefly on how the role contributes to both the success of the company and the wider community. A call to action such as “Come join a team of dedicated individuals…” can also be effective in encouraging candidates to apply for the job.
Here’s an ‘okay’ overview:
We are looking for a talented individual to join our team in the creation of the [censored], as well as work on the pre-existing automated manufacturing line. An ideal candidate would be a self-motivated team player, and be excited about the development of a new system from the ground up.
How we rewrote it:
The company seeks an individual with technical expertise to assist in the creation of the [censored] and to support the pre-existing automated manufacturing process. Our ideal candidate is someone who can evolve a new system completely from the ground up, is self-motivated, and enjoys working in a team environment. Our employees possess a broad set of technical skills and are ready to tackle some of technology’s biggest challenges and hope to make an impact on millions, if not billions, of users.
We rewrote it as such because using language such as “support” and “evolve” emphasises the candidate’s active involvement in the company’s projects, which paints a better picture of what the job responsibilities entail. We also included a sentence describing the social impact of the job role, to illustrate the significant contributions that this position would potentially have not only within the company, but also in the wider community. Revisions like these can make it easier for candidates to understand the duties of the role as well as the importance that it holds, which can serve to capture and retain their interest.
- Outline the main responsibilities of the job. Explain what the role will be expected to do on a daily basis, or provide details about specific projects the role will be involved in. Remember to use action verbs at the start of each point when writing.
- Candidates should get a sense of how the position operates at the company. It would be helpful to provide examples of other positions with which candidates will work regularly.
- Indicate desired skills and/or years of experience. Does the job require knowledge on certain softwares or experience with specific programming languages? Don’t forget to include these requirements.
- Provide a salary range so that candidates know what to expect before applying.
When companies emphasise on the hard skills and experience that they desire from candidates, they may overlook the importance of cultural fit. Is the work environment fast-paced or creative? Do you have a lean culture? You may choose to include these keywords in your job description to describe your company culture to attract candidates that suit these work environments.
Additionally, you can also consider involving current employees in the job description writing process to give their perspectives on the company culture, as well as to fine-tune the specific qualities they want to see in a new hire. It is crucial to hire the right talent — talent that can work well with your team and can continue to be motivated to do their best in a work environment that is suited for their growth.
Tip: Include examples of stories from current employees hidden in this part! Check out Hubspot Careers part for an idea on how they successfully incorporated their culture in their job application page.
5. What can you do for the candidates?
Last but certainly not least, you can consider dedicating a short section of your job description for company benefits. What can a candidate get out of this role — is it mentorship from experienced supervisors, a flexible work schedule or even an onsite gym? Emphasising your unique perks can also contribute to your employer branding, which will make a position at your company all the more attractive.
Check out this example of job benefits for a Marketing Internship role from Chegg Internships:
- Practical experience with current marketing and advertising techniques
- Shadowing, mentoring, and training opportunities with successful marketing professionals
- Opportunity to participate in networking events and company meetings
- Flexible schedule for students
- Compensation available
This example shows a succinct list of company benefits, which serves to illustrate what the company can offer to help the candidate grow in a concise manner. This can help to enhance the interest of candidates and convince them to apply for the role.