How To Write a Job Description That Will Attract the Best Talent On the Market
The first step in hiring an experienced, top-performing candidate is creating a job description that will pique their interest and prompt them to apply.
Knowing how to write a job description that’s tailored to the role you’re hiring for allows you to tap into the network of quality job seekers who will suit your business needs perfectly. That’s why it’s important to go in-depth and make the job ad highly specific—to make sure that candidates who apply have the necessary competencies to excel in the role.
The job description will be your first point of contact with all potential applicants, and it’s absolutely essential to leave a good first impression. If your job ad is vague or if the information in it is too general, your hiring funnel will soon get clogged with hundreds of unqualified candidates! As a result, you’ll have to waste valuable time sorting through bad applications until you find that one candidate who might be a good fit.
A super-specific job description will do half the work for you—it will filter out a large portion of unqualified candidates by discouraging them from applying. That’s because unqualified candidates who lack crucial skills necessary to do the job well will be much more reluctant to apply when it’s obvious that they will not be considered for the role.
Apart from dissuading underqualified candidates, your job description also needs to attract top-performers. In a way, writing a job description is similar to marketing—you have to “sell” your company as the best possible place for the best candidates to spend their careers in!
In this article, we’ll show you how to create the perfect job description by:
Detailing what makes a good job description
Teaching you how to write your job description
Showing you the best practices to implement
Giving you a heads-up on what not to do
Explaining whether you should rely on a template
Providing you with a good job description example
Workello’s Job Description Writing Guide—How To Structure Your Job Ad Professionally
Writing a good job description is the backbone of your hiring process. Without one, you’ll either be stuck in a never-ending hiring cycle or you’d have to settle for a sub-par candidate that will continuously underperform.
This is why it’s equally crucial to make your job ad specific, detailed, and readable. The best way to accomplish this is by structuring its contents in a coherent manner. A clear, logical structure will make the information in your job ad much easier to digest.
You have to understand that nobody wants to spend 15+ minutes reading the job description and “figuring out” what the role actually entails. Your job ad needs to be easily skimmable for important bits that you want candidates to spot right away. You can do this is by dividing it into separate, easily distinguishable sections:
Perks and benefits subsection
All the segments of your job ad should complement each other by explaining different aspects of the role while simultaneously promoting your company vision and mission.
Choose the Right Role Title
The best job descriptions explain what the role is and what it entails from the get-go. Since the first thing candidates see is the role title, it has to be specific enough to enable candidates to identify what position you’re hiring for at a glance. Keep in mind that job seekers often search for jobs using role titles, which is another reason to be specific.
A good role title also needs to specify the seniority level of the position you’re looking to fill. Instead of using vague, general titles like “writer” or “developer”, you should write out the full title of the role—for example, “junior content writer” or “senior front-end developer”.
“Clever” role titles can also hide the specific function of the role, even if the nature of the industry is obvious. For example, a job seeker can’t know what a Digital Development “Ninja” is without the context. It could be a manager, a specialist, or an analyst—and a good number of potential candidates won’t bother to find out if you’re being ambiguous.
Instead, you should state the role title as it most commonly appears in serious job ads. Below is a table of different titles for comparison:
“Clever” Role Titles
Standard Role Titles
Lead Generation Superstar
Lead Generation Analyst
Digital Development Ace
Digital Development Manager
You should do away with attempts at creativity in the role title—it will only spill unnecessary confusion into your job description.
Write a Brief Engaging Overview
After you have selected an appropriate title, you should write a short summary of what the role entails. It should provide an overview of the most significant functions of the role, answering important questions that an interested candidate would ask, such as:
What are the main duties of this position?
What industry does the company operate in?
How does this role contribute to the company’s business?
Will I perform the role as part of a team?
Top-performers will also want to know what your end-goal is. This is why it won’t hurt to write a sentence or two about your company’s culture, values, and mission. Don’t be shy about stating what you aim to accomplish. After all, ambitious companies attract ambitious candidates.
Let Candidates Know the Responsibilities
Listing out all the responsibilities of the position is crucial if you want to attract (and hopefully hire) candidates with required knowledge and experience to succeed in the role. While you shouldn’t name every daily task you can think of, you still need to detail key duties that define the role’s function in your organization.
The best way to accomplish this is by listing the responsibilities as bullet points. Each bullet should describe a single responsibility or task, as well as explain the impact that responsibility will have on the business as a whole. In other words, don’t merely state what they will do in the role, explain what they should strive to achieve by performing their tasks well.
For instance, if you were looking for a writer, you wouldn’t just state that they’ll be “creating content.” A much better job description is the one that goes into detail and explains how the responsibility is carried out and what the end-result should be.
In this example, it would read something like: “Perform in-depth research and apply the best SEO practices to create valuable, engaging, informative content that consistently ranks high.”
Besides clarifying individual tasks, this section also helps you define the scope of a candidate’s responsibility and accountability in general. When writing this section of the job ad, you should:
Define the types of business interaction your new hire will engage in
Explain whether they’ll take part in any collaborative projects
State who they will be reporting to for their daily, weekly, or monthly assignments
Depending on the extent of a role’s authority, you could also address any supervisory duties that candidates will be required to perform. These responsibilities often include:
Providing guidance to individuals who are part of a mentorship program
Overseeing your staff and directing the activities of other employees
Distributing assignments, setting deadlines, and doing QA
Make an In-Depth List of Requirements
Meticulously listing out all the job requirements is essential. Otherwise,you’ll be swamped by hundreds of applications from underskilled candidates who’ll wrongly assume they’re a good fit for the role. This will drastically slow down your hiring process and make it much more difficult to spot a qualified candidate in a sea of bad applications.
Just like you’re looking for the perfect candidate, they are looking for the best company to work in. When an experienced professional sees an ambiguous job ad, they won’t exactly recognize your organization as the ideal employer. Consequently, they won’t apply. That’s another reason why you must invest the time and effort to put together a clear and specific list of requirements.
To accomplish this, you should learn how to organize the information contained in this section, as there are several factors that determine a candidate’s compatibility with the role. The following table shows how you should handle each asect:
Provide a list of specific skills that are required to succeed in the role. Depending on the seniority of the position, you could also state the level of proficiency with each of these skills (working knowledge, solid knowledge, expert understanding, etc.)
Don’t forget to explicitly state the industry-specific knowledge and experience applicants are expected to possess, as well as any particular tools and industry standards they need to be familiar with
Specify the level of education that a potential candidate has to possess. If you’re hiring for a specific niche, make sure to emphasize a preferred field of study that aligns well with the role
State the necessary prior experience in a given position. Also specify whether internships and part-time work count toward this requirement
Include All the Perks and Benefits Your Company Provides
Apart from listing all of your requirements, you need to tell prospective candidates why your company is the best place for them to spend their careers in. A great job ad that will catch the eye of top-performers in the industry must include a list of all the advantages that they will enjoy while working for your company.
Benefits such as PTO, pay raises and bonuses, career advancement opportunities, and a good health insurance policy will all evoke a better response from top-skilled candidates.
This is especially important in cases where the pursued candidate is contemplating a switch from their current position in another company. A better array of employee benefits might encourage them to do precisely that.
By stating your pay rate, you’ll also increase your job ad’s transparency—and possibly reduce the number of unnecessary transactional questions later on!
8 Additional Tips For Writing a Good Job Description
There are tons of ways you can tweak your job description to be more effective.
Here are the top 8 tips we wish we knew when we first started scaling our team from 1 to 45+ members:
Write shorter sentences and stick to simpler phrases that are easily digestible
Use the future tense as much as possible—this will make your job ad seem more urgent while giving readers the impression that you’re talking about their future specifically
Always use active—passive constructions make the ad feel too impersonal
Address candidates directly with you
Use plenty of actions words, but not in an unclear context—always state the result or purpose of an action
Make your job requirements reasonable and transparent
Avoid exaggerations and hyperboles—for example, “We’re looking for a candidate to help us reach the stars!”
Highlight the best aspects of your company’s culture—it will attract candidates who find it appealing
All Good Job Descriptions Have Something in Common—An Excellent Format
When creating your job ad, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of formatting. If it looks weird on paper, then candidates will probably have a hard time reading it.
This is why you should strive to improve it in these 4 areas:
Length—Your job description should be between 300 and 600 words long. This translates to about a page and a half. If you make it any longer, you risk overwhelming candidates with the sheer amount of information they have to digest. Make it any shorter, and your job description might lack crucial details.
Segments—Separate your job description into smaller sections. None of these should exceed 4 paragraphs. This will make your job description much easier to navigate.
Lists—Put the main points of your job ad, such as the responsibilities and requirements, into easily scannable bullet lists. This way, candidates will be able to scan them for important details with greater ease.
Font—Keep font size between 11 and 12, and make sure that it’s a legible font, such as Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, or Helvetica. Weird or funny-looking serif fonts like Old English and Comic Sans might be amusing, but they’re hard to read, and candidates won’t take you seriously.
Check Out Our Brief Job Description Example
If you need a sample you can easily reference, take a look at our example of a short-form Content Writer job description:
Content Writer Job Description
We are looking for an ambitious, top-performing Content Writer to join our professional writing team!
As a Content Writer, your main role is to create well-written, high-value content on a variety of topics. To perform in the role successfully, you should possess the capacity to conduct independent research and quickly fact-check crucial information. You are expected to have a firm grip on the English language, as well as a solid knowledge of MS Office tools. A basic understanding of graphic design software is also preferred.
Ultimately, we aim to establish our company as one of the leading names in the content business through a consistent, high-quality output of top content. You will help us achieve this by crafting SEO-friendly articles that generate value and increase organic website traffic.
Creating top-notch content for different clients
Performing in-depth research on various topics
Keeping up-to-date on the newest insights to increase the quality of your writing
Successfully meeting tight deadlines
Adopting advice and suggestions from our Editors
Superb command of English
1 to 2 years of prior experience as a Content Writer
Well-rounded knowledge of MS Office tools
Working knowledge of content marketing
Familiarity with good SEO practices
Some understanding of graphic design software, such as Photoshop and Sumo Paint
2 PTO days per month
Possibility of being promoted to Senior Writer or Editor
1:1 mentorship and team workshops
Yearly team-building events
Workello Offers Hundreds of Premade Job Description Templates To Choose From
If you’re anxious to post your job ad without delay, you don’t have to waste time writing a job description from scratch. Workello’s knowledge base provides a large selection of pre-configured templates for a wide category of different roles:
Still, bear in mind that you need to adapt all templates to suit your particular needs. Even so, premade templates offer you a good starting point for your job ad, as they provide an excellent framework you can build on.
Writing a Great Job Description Is Just the First Step
By creating a detailed, highly specific job description, you’ll ensure a consistent influx of candidates into your hiring funnel. But this is only the beginning. What’s even more important is how fast you can sort through the incoming applications.
Once applications start arriving in droves, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.Suddenly, you will have far too many portfolios on your hands, and evaluating them quickly will be almost impossible without a streamlined hiring system.
This is where Workello comes into the picture! Workello is a fully automated, easy-to-use ATS that lets you find and hire skilled candidates faster. It makes the hiring process easier to manage while also improving its transparency, as it provides candidates with regular updates on their progress through your hiring funnel.
With Workello’s fine-tuned and fully automated features, you will be allowed to:
Distribute your ads on as many job boards as you want
View all your applications in a single place—your Workello dashboard!
Track your candidates through each stage of the hiring funnel
Update your candidate’s application status with one click
Leverage automated testing to quickly identify bad candidates with good portfolios
Rely on automated email correspondence to save valuable time and ensure every candidate gets notified about their application status change immediately