A Crash Course on Using Job Descriptions Effectively

By Adam Robinson,
March 27, 2013

According to Dave Martin of ERE.net, “the job description is too long.” And quite honestly, he’s right. 

After scrolling through a few pages of open positions, the job titles and descriptions begin to blend together. Soon enough, the job seeker loses interest and either moves on with their day or begins submitting his/her resume to every position posted.

So as a hiring manager, you’re stuck. That pile of unqualified resumes keeps growing, while the number of qualified candidates remains meager. You’ve posted the job description to a handful of job boards and still haven’t seen any improvement in the candidate pool. What now?

Take another look at that job description

Try thinking of your job description as an advertisement. You want to catch the attention of qualified candidates, and ultimately sell the position to the best one. But using a few generic phrases and creating an over-embellished job title is just not going to cut it. 

You have to make the job description stand out. And no, using the “great benefits” perk won’t work. So, how are you supposed to do it?

It’s time for an overhaul 

What makes your company different than all the others hiring for similar positions? Why should a candidate want to work for you instead of your competitors?

As Dave Martin puts it, “The aim of ‘job description 2.0_ should be to engage the candidate…it must be easy to consume and clear to understand. Today the purpose of the job description is a mixture of providing information for the candidate to self filter and selling the company or role.”

Think outside the box

Who said job descriptions have to follow a text-only format? Why not give a video job description a shot? This shows the candidate what it’s like to work at your company – from the culture to the day-to-day projects, video job descriptions not only catch the eye of job seekers, but it also gives them an idea of what it would be like working for your company.

There’s countless ways to make your job description stand out and attract the top candidates – it just takes a little creativity. Give it a shot, we know it’ll pay off.

Download ‘Job Descriptions 101’ for more information on developing strong descriptions. 


About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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