6 Tips for Standout Job Descriptions

by Thomas Byrne Associates | April 23, 2015

Thomas byrne - goldfishAll companies want the top talent on their team, but today’s competitive job market requires employers to step up their efforts to attract the best of the best.

It’s crucial to recognize that recruiting is all about selling your company. Treat it as you would any other marketing opportunity because that’s exactly what attracting quality hires requires – an aggressive approach to marketing both your company and the positions for which you’re seeking candidates.

The key to attracting this top talent, which is vital to your company’s success, begins with standout job descriptions. A poorly executed job description freefalls to the bottom of the pile so fast it will barely garner a glance, but a compelling job description places you ahead of the game.

According to JOBSOURCEblog, 1

“The purpose of your job description is to “hook” people so that they spend more time investigating your company and take action. No matter how much information you put in a job description, interested applicants are likely to do research elsewhere: your website, the press, blogs, your employee’s social networking profiles…”

Standout job descriptions must do three things: engage the candidate, be unique enough to spark interest, and inspire the potential candidate to look further into the company.

Use these six tips to make your job descriptions stand out.

  • Highlight the company in a couple of sentences that focuses on the company’s mission and goals, including key aspects of your values and culture. Back up the company’s culture with picture evidence on your website.
  • When it comes to the job title, skip the bling. A jazzed up title may sound cool but may be confusing to potential candidates. A straightforward title with easily searchable and familiar wording will serve you best.
  • Effective job descriptions strike a balance between conciseness and providing enough detail that candidates can self-qualify. Keep in mind job seekers have a multitude of job descriptions to consider. Find this balance and your audience will respond.
  • Separate the “must have” requirements from the “would be great” qualities. Use bullet points to itemize the no more than four absolute requirements; prioritize five or fewer bulleted nice to have qualities.
  • Be honest about day-to-day responsibilities. If applicable, use percentage breakdowns to clarify various roles as in 30% customer follow-up, 50% assembling reports, etc.
  • Give the description a bit of character. Kate Matsudaira, former CTO; founder of Popforms, suggests,

“This tip sounds so simple, but it’s amazing how often the person drafting the job description doesn’t think about it. Every time you write a posting, imagine you are the candidate reading it. Are you going to apply to – or even finish reading – a post that’s vague or lacking personality? (No.)” 2

Do effective job descriptions tailored to your target audience take thought and effort? You bet they do, but the time spent creating standout job descriptions will translate into top-rate hires.

Contact Thomas Byrne today. We’ll assist you in developing your stand out job descriptions and recruit top talent to your team.