How to Build a Job Description in 5 Easy Steps

By Natalie Pike,
March 27, 2015

One of the biggest headaches we hear from hiring managers is that they don’t have enough candidates. This is the first step in the hiring process. Reviewing resumes, interviewing and training can’t happen if no one applies to your open job.  So, what draws candidates in? What is the first thing they look at during their job hunt? 

The job description.

According to an article in Financial Wisdom, “all candidates like to know what is expected of them and how they will be evaluated. Job descriptions can also be a great value to employers. Creating a job description often results in a thought process that helps determine how critical the job is, how this particular job relates to others and identify the characteristics needed by a new employee filling the role.”

To create an eye-catching job description that will really grab the attention of job seekers, follow these five steps:

1. Use paragraphs, not bullet points

How many times do you click on a ‘job description’ and are greeted by a page full of bullet points? Bullet points are meant to highlight key concepts, not explain them. The job description tells the story and bullet points are there for support. Candidates want to know as much as possible about their potential job. Being vague and providing only a snippet of information is going to steer them away. 

2. Show off your company culture 

Don’t just tell candidates why your company is a good place to work – show them! When putting together the job description, include a few short paragraphs about your company. Include the fact that you offer unlimited vacation time or sports leagues after work. Who wouldn’t want that? This gives candidates a better idea of what your company is all about. Plus, it gets them excited about the possibility of working for you.

3. Do your homework

Browse the internet and do some research on what you like and don’t like about other companies’ job descriptions. Do they mention anything about the companies’ values? Do they say who the candidate will be working with? Is it thought out and filled with details? These are things you want to look for prior to building your own. 

4. Tell the truth

Say some applicants start rolling in. Then you manage to hire a superstar employee, but he or she finds out everything in the job description isn’t match up to the day-to-day duties she’s being given. It’s more important to have an employee stick around for the long run than to simply have a candidate apply. Be truthful. Describe exactly what they’ll be doing and make sure to delegate those responsibilities when they start as well.

5. Be conversational

Whether your culture is serious or laid back, the person on the other end of your description is just that – a person. So write as if you were speaking to him or her,” said LinkedIn blogger Kate Reilly. Be conversational. Write as if you are speaking to him or her.  Read your description out loud. Would you say those words in person? If not, don’t use them.

99% of job descriptions are painfully long and boring. Most hiring managers either don’t want to take the time to write them out or they feel it has no correlation to candidate flow. Take my advice – follow these five easy steps and I pretty much guarantee the applicants will start rolling in.

Still stuck? We wrote an entire eBook on how to build the perfect job description. Check it out!

About the Author

Natalie is the Marketing Strategist, responsible for knowing the ins and outs of the SMB Industry, educating prospects on hiring best practices and positioning Hireology as a thought leader in the SMB space. She started at Hireology in 2014, writing blogs, planning events and managing the various social media platforms. Prior to working in the “real world,” she attended Purdue University (Boiler Up!) majoring in Broadcast Communications and competing on the Women’s Water Polo Team.

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