How to Write a Killer Job Description

Attract top talent with these seven tips

By Daniel Abramson, HRSource

Your job posting is your first official gatekeeper. If you’re too vague in describing the job post, you might get quantity, but not necessarily quality — which means you’ll just have more candidates to sort through who may not be qualified.

Therefore, the number one rule when writing a job description is … keep it concise! The general description should be a high-level overview of what the role is all about, what impact the employee will have in that role, what other teams or positions they are going to be working with and what an ideal candidate would look like.

Another key to writing a position description is to lead with impact. Obviously, considerations like compensation and benefits are very important for any job seeker. But people want to feel like what they’re doing matters, that it has significance and is valued by your company. What metrics will they be affecting? What clients will they be taking care of? How are they going to matter at your organization? Sell them on that up front.

Now that you’ve written the job overview, it’s time to get into the details: the job’s responsibilities. When writing job responsibilities, focus on including as many essential details as possible. Here are some tips on writing clear and comprehensive job responsibilities:

Use action words: Verbs like providework withprepare and assist give candidates a sense of what they will be doing on a day-to-day basis.

Be detailed but not rigid: Unless a certain software or tool is absolutely required for the job, focus on telling candidates what they will be doing, rather than how they will be doing it.

Set clear expectations: Consider including how often a task will be performed or what percentage of time employees should spend on tasks.

Include company standards: Ensure the candidates you seek will be compliant with brand standards by including responsibilities that maintain the integrity of your product or service.

Add skills when needed: If your job is highly technical, add phrases such as “use analytical skills” or “use critical thinking skills.”

Conversely, while you want to be detailed about the duties the job entails, you don’t want to list the entire scope of responsibilities. Like I said at the beginning, keep it concise. Seeing a list of 20 bullet points can be overwhelming for anyone. Stick to a list of three to eight major responsibilities.

Remember, by writing a concise and compelling job description, you’ll get those quality applicants through the door.

To learn more about writing effective job posts, check out the BrandSource HR Playbook. To receive a customized employee handbook for current and future staffers, order your HRSource Handbook in a Box here.

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