Job Descriptions.

How to Write a Job Description (With Examples)

How to Write Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are the cornerstone of the recruiting process. They help to attract top talent, set expectations for qualified candidates, inform prospects about the role and company, and streamline the search process. Plus, a well-written job description gives companies a chance to make a great first impression. So while writing accurate and compelling job descriptions can be frustrating, finding the time and resources to do so is well worth it.

Benefits of Effective Job Descriptions
Writing a Job Description
Job Description Examples for Specific Roles
Benefits of Effective Job Descriptions
job description
Image: Shutterstock / Built In

Importance of Job Descriptions

No matter how many job descriptions you write, they never seem to get any easier, especially if you are writing them for roles you know little about. We’re here to help. For starters, let’s discuss the importance of job descriptions, and then we’ll tackle how to write them.

Job descriptions are helpful for both prospective candidates and employers. Here’s why:

 

Attract Prospective Candidates

A concise and compelling job description will play a major role in attracting qualified candidates. With resources like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and email, the ability to post and share jobs is instantaneous and has exponential reachability.

 

Set Expectations

A clear job description will set everyone up for success. Prospects will understand what is expected of them, more-qualified candidates will apply, under-qualified applicants will move on and you will save loads of time sifting through applications and communicating with potential candidates.

 

Prepare for Interviews

A well-crafted job description can help both applicants and interviewers prep for the big day. Applicants will be able to prepare for likely topics of conversation and interview teams will be equipped to ask questions that will accurately gauge the candidate’s qualifications.

 

Make a Stellar First Impression

Job descriptions are often the first point of contact candidates will have with your company and can shape their first impression. Just like resumes and CVs, any jargon or grammatical errors will turn a candidate off and leave a lasting negative impression.

 

Simplify the Search

Searching for jobs is incredibly time-consuming, especially for the 73 percent of candidates who are passive and currently employed. Clear and concise job descriptions help prospects compare salaries, benefits, perks and even company culture to determine what roles are worth applying to.

 

Establish a Baseline

Once a candidate is hired, the job description will stand as a baseline to measure growth, reference during performance reviews and consider future training opportunities.

Recommended Reading29 Recruitment Strategies With Real Examples

Writing a Job Description

How to Write a Job Description

Great job descriptions are thorough yet concise. They use specific terms and keep a professional tone. It’s OK to be a little quirky, but don’t overdo it. If you don’t take the job description seriously, top candidates will move on to other opportunities.

Important Parts of a Job Description

  • Job Title
  • Company Bio/Mission
  • Role Summary
  • Role Responsibilities
  • Role Requirements (Must-Have Skills)
  • Time/Location
  • Next Steps (How to Apply)

Here’s an outline of the main sections every job description should include.

 

Job Title

Make the job title clear and concise. People will be searching terms they know, so don’t stray from the standard industry language of common job titles. Be sure to include specific terms, like the programs required for the role. The title Lead Front End AngularJS Engineer is much more descriptive than Developer and will attract more qualified candidates.

 

Company Mission

Most companies have a lengthy mission statement with core values and a culture code. Slim that down to about two to four sentences. For candidates looking at multiple companies and open roles, the missions start to sound the same, and they can read about the company’s full profile on the website if they decide to pursue the position.

 

Role Summary

Write a brief three to five sentence summary about what the candidate will do in their role, who they’ll work with and any general qualities your team is looking for in the individual.

 

Job Function

Give five to 10 bullet points on what the candidate can expect to do in the role. Here are a few tips:

  • Write in complete sentences.
  • Be thorough. Candidates will be better prepared for the interview and role if they know what is expected of them.
  • Don’t be excessive. You don’t need to include every single possible thing a person might encounter during the work day.

 

Must-Have Skills

List five to seven bullet points that are absolutely necessary for a candidate to be successful in the role they are applying to.

  • Include quantities when applicable, like years of experience.
  • Be sure to clarify what the application requires, like a portfolio, writing sample, video recording, resume, CV, cover letter, etc.
  • Other important information includes education, experience, certifications and knowledge of specific platforms.

 

Nice-to-Have Skills

If there are any other qualities that are nice to have, include those here. Don’t feel like you have to include this section, but it may help candidates know what to include in the application or interview to stand out.

 

Compensation

Sixty-one percent of job seekers consider compensation information to be the most important part of a job description. Many companies still refuse to provide this information in job descriptions, but it’s time to get over your discomfort.

 

Time

It’s best to be upfront about the time frame you need employees to work. Flexible work hours are more common for full time employees, time zones may play a role, and certain industries and markets work around different schedules.

 

Location

Candidates will consider commute time or relocation efforts in their employment decision, so help them determine fit before they embark on the application process. Embedding a Google Map onto your website is really quite simple and can be done with this guide

 

Working Conditions

People want to know what to expect in their future work environment. Are there any physical requirements for the role? What is the expected dress code?

 

Call to Action

Make sure it is blatantly obvious where a candidate is supposed to apply. Do not make it complicated or frustrating to apply because that’s just going to reduce your applicant pool for the wrong reasons.

 

Disclaimer Statements

Most companies include an equal opportunity employer statement and that the employee may be required to perform additional job functions beyond the description. Do your research because disclaimers can help companies prevent messy lawsuits.

 

Elements to Improve Job Descriptions

Some companies including additional details in their job descriptions to help differentiate them from other employers. There’s certainly a balance between writing a thorough job description and being excessive, and that’s up to your team to decide. Here are a few additional sections to consider including in your job description. While these items are optional, they may turn a good JD into a great one.

 

Benefits

Non-financial benefits are often a deciding factor for prospective candidates. Things to include are your company’s:

  • Health insurance and wellness plans
  • Retirement and stock options offerings
  • Childcare and parental leave options
  • Vacation and PTO policies

 

Perks

Remember that perks are not the same thing as benefits. Perks are nice add-ons the company offers its employees to improve work-life balance and help them live happier, more productive lives.

 

Company Culture

Sure, it’s a buzzword, but the people have spoken and the best candidates expect a strong company culture. In fact, 47 percent of them say that company culture is the main reason they’re searching for new opportunities.

Job Description Examples for Specific Roles

Job Description Examples

Job descriptions aren’t one-size-fits-all. While the company bio and mission statement sections may remain the same for each role a company posts, the main sections — which include role responsibilities and requirements — should be uniquely tailored to the job at hand.

For instance, a job description for a highly specialized role will usually go into more detail about the types of tools and software programs qualified candidates are expected to possess, while a JD for an entry-level role may spend more time broadly discussing the mentality or passions a candidate should have. In any case, job descriptions that have enough detail specific to the role gives job-seekers a better sense of the position and it gives you an opportunity to make a positive first impression.

Below we’ve rounded up some in-depth guides and job description templates for several roles:

 

Creative Roles

 

Data and Analytics Roles

 

Developer Roles

 

Operations Roles

 

Marketing Roles

 

Sales Roles

Hiring Resources

Recruitment 3.0—
stay informed.

Grow Your Company

Great Companies Need Great People. That's Where We Come In.

Recruit With Us