The Ultimate Guide on Writing an Appealing Job Description
According to Glassdoor report, there are 5 things that are most valuable for job seekers before opting to a particular opportunity: salary, growth opportunities, work-life balance, a location, and a company culture. How can one communicate these things in a short but detailed job offer?
It all starts with job description – and often ends there, too
Even though it’s pleasing to entertain a thought that the potential employee has already heard some good stuff about your company, it’s most often not the case – unless you made it to the Fortune 500 companies or The Guardian top lists.Top talents have a lot of options to choose from and it would be impossible to remember all of the names. How to make sure you stand out among all these offers in a short job description?
We have an ultimate step-by-step guide, based on the opinions of our employees and HR-professionals. We present you two sides of the coin and offer a detailed solution.
Step 1. Whom do you need?
The most important words you will write in the job description is the position of the future employee. The good position headline is the one that:
- Doesn’t set unrealistic salary descriptions. Junior doesn’t mean free or intern. Don’t be surprised if you see that candidates who apply for junior positions have high salary demands. For them, it means a slightly different thing. Putting the word ‘junior’, you refer to hiring less experienced but still qualified (and preferably well-paid) professional.
- Is easy to google. As much as it’s great to be creative, job positions have certain templates, and for a good reason. Your candidate will most likely google not ‘Experienced Java Ninja’ but a ‘Senior Java Developer’, which is why you should stick to the second option.
- Offers several forms of the same job position. A copywriter can be also put as a content writer, writer, content manager. This is just an idea of how to make it all look good together: Writer/Copywriter/Content manager.
Step 2. Define what you want.
Here the situation becomes tricky, especially if you are a first-time hirer. If you decided to let another person in your business, you deep skills, profound knowledge, and motivation. Furthermore,browsing through the offers of startups and newly-founded companies, we see that they all look for the passionate and self-organized candidate.
A typical writer job description and a nice case in point.
In order to attract top talents, job description writers shouldn’t start with motivation and self-discipline. This way, the company can come across as unnecessary strict, and too demanding.
Step 3 – Write what do you offer
Potential candidates want to know the financial compensation, expected time investments, office location, vacation and sick days details. They also care about how successful is the company and how interesting the project is. No one likes to perform work with no sense even if it pays well. Therefore, we created a checklist of what should be specified in the offer:
- the name and website of the company;
- the location – country, city, office address, mention a relocate or travel opportunities if they exist;
- the financial compensation;
- your specialization;
- achievements and noteworthy information about the projects that the candidate will be handling;
- seek days and vacations possibilities;
- flexible schedule opportunity (if exists);
- the size of the team (yeah, for many candidates it can be a dealbreaker – or a changemaker).
Now, there are some things that don’t actually work but people keep listing them anyway – either because everyone else does or because there is nothing else to mention. How many times have you seen a sweet promise about cookies and tea? For any serious candidate, reading about the same meaningless things at the hundredth time will be a cringe-worthy factor,not a serious advantage.
Step #4 – Describe the responsibilities of the candidate
While characteristics are certainly important,those are responsibilities that hook the candidate the most. If written well,this section gives a feel of the working process – your top talent can already imagine being in the team. To get that effect, know exactly what to do – and what to avoid.
- Give realistic expectations. We all want to seem fancy in the description but if a developer will be doing simple scripts, honestly write that down. Don’t invent projects in AI or IoT if you don’t have any.
- Be as specific as possible. For one thing, it’ll give the candidate a perfect understanding of what is asked and sort away those who don’t qualify.
- Keep it short. The long list of responsibilities attracts no one. 4-5 points in a list are what you want.
Step #5 – Think about the future, don’t brag about the past
Job seekers care about where the company has been and what it has done. But even more than that, they want to know where you want to be in a few years. The companies make a better impression when they are discussing their plans and goals. This not only informs the candidate about what’s really relevant but also makes you come across as a leader. The best ones always look forward.
Step #6 – Analyze competitors
We didn’t put the competitive analysis at the beginning as one could think it should be. It’s actually done on purpose. When looking into job descriptions published by competitors, there is always a risk of ‘stealing’ their ideas instead of focusing on your unique traits.
That’s why analyzing competitors’ strategy is always best to do with a clear head and strong vision for your own company. Now that the positioning is figured out, created an offer, and established the requirements, it’s worth taking a look at how others do it. It’ll give you a full idea on the market and set realistic expectations – or, according to Huffpost, your employees will be quitting.
What to look for when analyzing competitive job descriptions?
- Analyze financial compensation. Might be, you are not offering a competitive paycheck.
- Take a look at the advantages they list. We advise, however, to resist the temptation to rush editing your own offer. But this information could be written down and used when preparing for interviews.
- LinkedIn can be used as a valuable research tool since there it’s possible to see how many candidates were interested in the offer. This way, you monitor interests and see what works best.
Step 7 – Pick the right place for publishing your offer
Obviously, there are universal places like that same old LinkedIn or Monster. However, if you want to really do your best, the next thing to do is scouring for field-related job boards. Here is the list of the most popular ones – just take and use.
- Software development – GitHub
- Design – Behance
- Marketing – Krop
- Sales – Rainmakers
Now the fundamental question comes: how many job boards should you list on? Well, technically, the sky is the limit. But practically, pick up to the best five and publish your offer there. For one thing, many candidates visit several websites and it’s not pleasing to see the company publishing their offer on every corner (seems a little bit desperate, don’t you find?). Also, it’s best to create a fine reputation on fewer boards than be a mediocre employer on many.
Before we wrap it all up,let’s just go over some final tips. They might seem straightforward but those are the easiest rules that are forgot the most often.
- Always proofread. Use writing and editing services like Grammarly or Hand made writing for spell check, content editing and proofreading ?.
- Make sure your style corresponds with the corporate culture. If you are formal in team interactions, keep the style official, too. For a startup, on the other hand, there is no need to go strictly-business.
- Add a name to your contact information – attaching a person to the company builds trust.
- If there are deadlines for the offer, let candidates know.
Before we wrap it all up, let’s just go over some final tips. They might seem straightforward but those are the easiest rules that are forgot the most often.
Always proofread. Use writing and editing services like Grammarly or custom writing services like Handmade Writing for spell check, content editing, and proofreading ?.
Make sure your style corresponds with the corporate culture. If you are formalin team interactions, keep the style official, too. For a startup, on the other hand, there is no need to go strictly-business.
Add a name to your contact information – attaching a person to the company builds trust.
If there are deadlines for the offer, let candidates know.
After familiarizing yourself with these seven steps, you are officially a professional in writing job descriptions. Now let us go over the primary tips we would give HRs and writer swho want to create compelling job offers:
- Have your own voice. Don’t rip things off other companies’ descriptions. Before doing any research on competitive offers, write your own.
- Before thinking of the requirements, be sure to form the position well. Avoid too-much ideas, keep it traditional and SEO-relevant.
- Treat job description as another form of your company’s advertising. It means you still have to clearly present all the benefits and define the positioning.
- Remember that the candidate does not remember the names of companies. Most likely, they don’t know you. Present your company so candidates feel as if they’ve known it for a while.
- Post your descriptions both on leading boards and specialized platforms.
- Don’t be a try-hard. Promising too much and being overly active during the search can seem desperate and scare off a talented candidate.