Learn What Makes a Great Job Ad From Our Job Description Example
Job description templates can be an excellent starting point when you’re hiring for a specific role for the first time. That said, what’s crucial to understand is that templates have to be customized before you can post your job ad.
Templates are specifically written to be as general as possible, so they can be used by a variety of different companies, regardless of the industry they operate in. As a result, they contain vague statements that need to be replaced with specific information and details related to the requirements and responsibilities of the role in your organization.
You can’t just grab the first template you come across and use it as is. This way, you’ll end up with a generic job ad that will indiscriminately attract all sorts of candidates—most of them unqualified. To find a candidate that’s a good fit for your company, you need to tailor your job description according to the function of the role in your organization.
The main purpose of the job description is to accurately reflect the responsibilities and requirements of the role. That’s why you need to customize these two sections to align them with your company’s current needs. You can also fine-tune your job description by adding info about the salary range, employee benefits, and your company’s mission, vision, and culture. All these elements play a vital part in attracting and hiring the right person for the job.
In this article, we’ll dissect our content writer job description example and carefully go over each section. You’ll learn what aspects of your job description you need to pay particular attention to, as well as which strategies work and which don’t. Along the way, we’ll also teach you how to apply job description best practices to job descriptions for any role!
Lastly, we’ll show how to make your search for the perfect candidate even easier by setting up a fully automated hiring funnel with Workello!
What Elements Constitute an Effective Job Description?
Whether you’re adjusting a pre-made template or writing a job description from scratch, it’s important to be as specific as possible with every piece of information you include. An ambiguous job description will do more harm than good—you’ll be overwhelmed with applications from candidates that don’t meet your minimum hiring standards.
To dissuade unqualified candidates from applying, you need a transparent, highly detailed list of requirements and responsibilities for the role. People who lack the core competencies necessary to succeed in the role won’t apply in large numbers, while top-performing candidates who meet your criteria will immediately recognize the job offer as an excellent opportunity.
Apart from listing your requirements, you also need to give top-performers an incentive to choose you over every other company hiring for the same role. You can do this by highlighting the perks and benefits they’ll enjoy while working for your company. It’s also advisable to write a paragraph or two about your company to give interested candidates a general idea of the work environment and your company’s values, so they could gauge if they’d be a good culture fit.
While all of this information is crucial, your job ad can’t exactly be a huge chunk of text. To make an engaging and readable job ad, you have to properly format it and divide it into sections that highlight different elements.
Each element can be formatted as an individual paragraph or section:
Your company business goals, company culture, and workplace ethics
List of perks and benefits
Equal opportunity statement
What an Engaging Job Summary Looks Like
Your job summary should let all candidates know from the outset what the job is and what it entails. The first part they’ll see is the role title, and you need to make it as transparent and obvious as possible. It can’t be something clever or funny, such as “Content Rockstar” or “Dream Job.”
In the example above, the role the company’s looking to hire is a Social Media Expert. How is any candidate supposed to conclude that from the title?
Long story short, stick to the accepted norm. Make sure that candidates can deduce the nature of the role at a glance. If the summary is too abstract or unintuitive, top-notch candidates won’t take your job description seriously.
Next, describe the gist of the role to prospective applicants in a few brief sentences:
State the industry they will be working in
Detail crucial tasks that they’ll perform
Mention what skills are essential to succeed in the role
Explain the purpose of the role in your business
Since this is only a summary, mention only the most essential aspects of the role. Don’t get sidetracked—you’ll get the opportunity to explain all the details later. Here, you should merely provide an overview of the position in a clear and logical manner.
How To Position Your Company as the Best Place for Ambitious Candidates
While you shouldn’t pat yourself on the back too much, mentioning your company’s accomplishments can have a positive effect. After all—ambitious, top-quality candidates want to work for an equally ambitious and successful organization!
By positioning your company as the go-to place for top-performers, you will be giving them an incentive to join your organization. And many will be motivated to apply if they recognize you as a serious, professional company that matches their vision of an ideal workplace.
As our job description sample shows, you can show candidates how much your company has accomplished in a given timespan.
The following table shows you key factors to mention when positioning your company on the hiring market:
State what makes your brand unique in comparison with competing companies hiring for the same role. Point out some factors that distinguish your business approach, and specify why skilled candidates will find much better career opportunities in your organization.
It’s important to mention the industry your company operates in. After all, you don’t want candidates who are entirely unfamiliar with the basic framework of your business—even if they possess the right technical skills.
Company mission and vision
Elaborate a bit on your company’s business vision, the goals you’re trying to accomplish, and the work environment your new hire will be joining.
Why You Should Also Pitch In Your Company Culture and Workplace Ethics
To attract the type of candidate who feels at home in your work environment, you should write a sentence or two about your company culture.
Even if a candidate possesses the required skill set, they might not share your company’s ideals and values. In such cases, they might face difficulties fitting into your team, possibly creating trouble for other employees. On the other hand, if your company culture appeals to a candidate, they’ll perform better in the role and bring more value to your business!
In this section, you should talk about your organization’s core values, work ethics, and ultimately show target candidates what makes your work environment a great place to be in.
In our example of a job description, we’ve focused on the dynamics, fluidity, and casualness of our company atmosphere. But you shouldn’t just copy our statement—instead, focus on the unique aspects of your own work environment! For example, you could emphasize one of the following:
This doesn’t mean you have to mention every tidbit about the atmosphere of your company. It’s enough to give prospective candidates a small sample of what working your organization is like.
Why Your Candidates Need To Know the Responsibilities of the Role
It’s crucial to list all the responsibilities that potential employees will be required to perform. This is especially important if the role you’re hiring for requires the candidate to meet a certain quota—for example, a number of words per day a writer has to deliver—or when industry-specific knowledge is required to succeed in the role.
An in-depth list of responsibilities gives candidates a viable framework/reference point for their future duties by:
Clearly stating the workload they’ll be required to complete or the KPIs they’ll be expected to hit
Defining the nature of their duties and what impact they’ll have on your business
Stating the expected outcome of their tasks
No matter the number of responsibilities, you should put them in a bullet list. This makes them easily scannable, and a candidate’s eye will be naturally drawn to each listed responsibility point-by-point.
Still, you shouldn’t name every single responsibility—and especially not secondary roles they may have to fill as a result of unforeseen circumstances. Emphasize only the key functions that they will have to perform, which are directly tied to that particular role. You shouldn’t mix responsibilities of a dozen different roles into a single ad.
Depending on several factors, such as the seniority of the position, you could also add important minor tasks to the list. If it’s a junior position, state who they’ll be reporting to. And if it’s a senior position, mention whether they’ll have additional obligations to serve as mentors to novices.
Why It’s Important To Be Specific About the Requirements
Making a precise, extremely detailed list of requirements is key for finding a candidate with the necessary skill set.
If your job specifications are vague and unclear, this will give every job seeker the idea that they are suitable for the role. Your hiring funnel will get swamped by hundreds of lackluster applications, making it even more difficult to find that ideal candidate. That’s why you need to explicitly state what the necessary qualifications for the role are.
In general, you should focus on three major types of requirements in most job descriptions:
Prior experience in the role
Level of education
If you don’t describe the core competencies in detail, your job ad will attract unqualified candidates who can’t do the job properly. At best, you will waste time sorting through myriads of applications. At worst, you’ll hire a candidate that lacks the required skillset, so you’d have to train them, and if they turn out to be unfit for the role, you’ll go back to square one—a new hiring cycle.
In our job description example above, we required that our content writers be familiar with the concept of SEO, as this would greatly aid them in crafting articles that consistently rank on the first page of Google.
Apart from technical skills, it is also necessary to state the required prior experience. Just make sure that your request is reasonable and that the level of experience correlates with the role you’re hiring for. Nobody will apply for an entry-level position that states 5+ years of experience as a prerequisite. On the other hand, hundreds of unqualified candidates will flock to job ads for a senior position if you don’t emphasize the level of experience needed.
Based on the role you’re looking to fill, you could also state the preferred level of education, as well as the field of study. Certain niches demand very specific qualifications and credentials, so requesting a PhD in a particular field might not be an unreasonable demand in such circumstances.
Finally, you might also wish to state the soft skills you’re looking for in a future employee, especially if it’s a senior role that requires regular interaction with both internal and external stakeholders.
How a Comprehensive List of Perks and Benefits Helps You Attract Better Candidates
A list of perks and benefits might give you the competitive edge you need to hire a top-skilled candidate before another company snatches them up.
In our job description example, opportunities for growth and career development will be appealing to ambitious candidates who wish to advance their careers. Mentorship programs and team workshops will also attract talented junior candidates who might grow into valuable assets.
You should also state your policy on PTO, sick leave, maternity leave, and holidays. Ultimately, the benefits package you offer will matter a great deal to most candidates. It never hurts mentioning what benefits your company provides—they can always provide you with an unexpected advantage over other companies who don’t list them.
It might also be a good idea to include the salary range in your job ad. Qualified candidates will immediately recognize “competitive salary” for what it is—empty corporate talk that’s code for “we’ll pay you as little as we can get away with.”
Why It’s Useful To Include an Equal Opportunity Statement
Including an equal opportunity statement in your job ad will inform candidates that you will only be taking their experience and competencies into consideration during the hiring process. This proof against discrimination on any basis will further distinguish your company as a highly professional workplace that evaluates employees solely based on their skills and performance.
Closely connected to this is the use of neutral language in your job ad. To be even more inclusive—and potentially tap into a larger candidate pool—you need to use terms that don’t have connotations of implicit or explicit bias. The table below provides you with advice on how to handle instances of potentially offensive language usage:
Address your candidates directly in the second person. If it’s necessary to speak in the third person, never use “he” or “she.” Instead, use the neutral “they”
Don’t use titles that imply gender, such as “spokesman.” Instead, use a more gender-neutral form—for example, “spokesperson”
Your language use should encompass people of all sexes. That’s why it’s potentially harmful to use informal terms such as “guys” when referring to your team. Instead, use a word such as “members” in your job ad
Finding a Qualified Candidate is Hard—Even With a Great Job Description!
A job description example that’s been chiseled to perfection can provide you with loads of useful tips for your own job ad. But once you post your ad online and actually start receiving applications, you’ll see that a terrific job description is only the first step in the hiring process.
No matter how good your job description is or what hiring platform you post it on, you’ll always:
Receive applications from unqualified candidates
Have trouble sorting through portfolios quickly
Find it hard to efficiently track where each candidate is in your hiring funnel
We know this since we used to have the exact same problems. Regardless of how good our job description was, we couldn’t:
Keep track of candidates who initially piqued our interest
Spot bad candidates with brilliant resumes
Efficiently filter out candidates who didn’t meet our hiring standards
The whole hiring process was an unbearably tedious grind—and it was only exacerbated by the fact that none of our processes were automated! This all changed once we developed Workello.
How Workello Can Help You Attract and Hire Better Candidates At Reduced Cost
While our job description example is a good reference point for all your future job ads, you can streamline your hiring process for even greater efficiency—with Workello!
Workello is a fully automated hiring funnel that can help you hire better candidates faster, and cut hiring costs by 50%!