Job Descriptions Should be to the Point

Crafting the right job description is a primary step that will help you attract the best candidates for the job.

With millions of online job listings, the job description can help your job post stand out in a crowd. More importantly, it can ensure that the most capable and deserving candidates feel driven to apply for your position.  

The secret of a successful job description lies in your ability to explain about the job role and your company in the fewest possible words. According to researchers, a job description with less than 2,000 characters is likely to attract up to one-third more applications.

Here a few tips on how to create the key components of your job description:

Job Title

Attributes of a terrific job title:

  • Accurately and succinctly reflects the job profile
  • Is not in conflict with other job positions in your organization
  • Is neither too modest, nor an exaggeration
  • Has no connotations that could be construed as discriminatory, including age and gender
  • Matches with similar job titles in the industry and can serve as a primary keyword for search engines

Job Summary

The job description should ideally open with a riveting summary that offers a sharp overview of your organization and expectations for the advertised position.

Come directly to the point about what distinguishes your company and what promise it holds for the best candidates. Include a job location to achieve geo-targeted search results online.

Duties and Responsibilities

The description of duties and responsibilities that come with this job should be summed up in two to three lines, though the lengthy may vary in each case. Your job description is not an operations manual, so don’t go out of your way to describe all duties and responsibilities in detail.

Make use of action words, such as “supervise, negotiate, produce, deliver, collaborate, investigate, review, or communicate.” (Example: “Negotiate sales contracts with corporate clients.”)

While creating a description of duties and responsibilities, consider a typical work day in the life of an employee for this position.

Include primary and secondary responsibilities, and specify the outcomes expected. (Example: “Create and update a database of all new and existing customers. Keep a track of customer contact details and produce weekly reports on customer changes and correspondence.”)

Qualifications and Skills

Qualifications and skills are separate things, so preferably list them separately. Skills could include programming language skills such as Java or Python. Qualifications could include a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. Many job roles also require general management skills such as problem solving, communication, teamwork, leadership, and negotiation.

Avoid Clichés and Have a Good Close

Make sure that your job description tells what is unique about your company. Avoid over-used generic phrases such as “fast growing” or “highly competitive”.  Share the specific mission, vision, and values that the company stands for.

Try to include specific information about benefits, compensation, and career growth, instead of using generics. Many companies have excellent descriptions but do not close well. Aim to include a persuasive close by talking about any special benefits or perks. Don’t let your job description be just a laundry list of roles and responsibilities.