D is for Description: How to Write a Perfect Job Description

how to write a perfect job description
It’s a candidate-driven market. Job seekers have tons of options when searching for a new career. You need a job description that both catches the attention of potential candidates and provides an excellent summary of the position, without sounding like a robot.

I understand this is challenging for busy hiring managers and HR employees. It can be tempting to recycle one of the same old job descriptions that, unfortunately, fail to illustrate the value of your company. And this invites less qualified candidates to apply.

Your job description is your first interaction prospective candidates have when on the job hunt. You must make it count! Follow these ingredients for crafting the perfect job description.

Keep the job description short

Please, do both you and your prospective applicants a favor: cut the fluff. There is absolutely no need to start your job description with a lengthy overview of your company. That’s why you have an ‘About’ page on your website and an overview of your company on your LinkedIn company page.

Rather, (briefly) talk about your company’s mission, the achievements your company has won, and/or the culture of your organization. It’s best to keep your company overview to about two or three sentences.

So, quit copying and pasting your company’s ‘About’ page and try and write something that makes potential candidates excited about the possibility of working for your company!

Keep it conversational

Remember, you are talking to a human being. So, write as if you are speaking to one! You can lighten up the job description by replacing phrases like “the ideal candidate” with “you.” Try writing the description as though you are speaking directly to the candidate.

You can also swap out sub-headings in the description to give it a little more personality. Try replacing “Qualifications” with “You’re Good At.” Writing your job description with some enthusiasm will help it stand out in the sea of job openings and it will make candidates excited to apply for your position.

If you want to take your job description to the next level, add projects and issues the candidate will tackle within the position. Ideal candidates will want to come in and instantly make a positive impact on the organization. Painting a vivid picture of the position will help ensure there is a good culture fit between the candidate and your company.

Be realistic with job requirements

Take a close look at the qualifications or requirements in your job description. Adding too many specifications scares away potentially great candidates. Having strict requirements is also a good way to limit your candidate pool. There is no need to have a laundry list of skills or super specific details that will likely discourage great candidates from applying.

It’s best to settle on a handful of “preferred” and “minimum” qualifications. If it’s not a must-have, it’s just a preferred qualification, and you keep in mind, candidates can safely assume “preferred” qualifications are a non-requirement. If you don’t have a clear idea of what are absolute musts, you may be inviting lower-quality candidates to apply.

Don’t forget to list the requirements that are the most essential to the position first. Those qualifications will be perceived as the most important to the job and will help attract quality candidates. Also, there is no need to include basic skillsets that nearly every potential candidate will have. Leave off qualifications like “proficient at Microsoft Office” and soft skills like “excellent multitasker.” These are not worthy of space in your job description and are honestly just a waste of both the candidates’ and employer’s time.

If you follow these tips when drafting your next job description, you’ll set your company up for success! If you are still struggling to write a job description, check out our simple guideline.