How to Write a Job Description To Attract the Ideal Candidate, in Eight Steps
Jobspin presents a general guide to creating job adverts that will help you find the right candidate, along with plenty of examples and free job ad template. Title photo: Freepik / Stock image.
Nowadays, like anything else on the Internet, job vacancies need to be advertised. To attract the right candidate, employers must create engaging content that catches attention, while also providing concise information about the job position, its requirements, and its benefits. The right job description will help you filter out unsuitable and under-qualified candidates, and help build your company brand.
#1 Know your audience, adapt your message.
First off, make sure you understand the audience you are trying to reach with your advert. Job descriptions that appeal to recent graduates will be very different to those that appeal to, let’s say, senior managers. The language you use in the job description should always match your company culture. If your company is a serious auditing firm, for example, even a job description for younger audiences will keep a strictly professional tone.
- Example 1 (Grads): Bored? Meet new challenges with every job task. Learn and grow professionally and personally with every project.
- Example 2 (Senior candidates): We are seeking a trustworthy colleague who can meet deadlines without sacrificing accuracy. Our extensive loyalty program offers great benefits to our employees.
#2 Make sure your job advert is well-structured.
Use sub-headings such as “What we expect from you”, “What you can expect from us” or “Meet your new team”.
#3 Use keywords to boost the searchability of your job posting.
A majority of job seekers are searching for jobs online these days, using search engines such as Google or Baidu as their first port of call.
- Examples: Mention in the ad: sectors – “media”, “marketing”, “communication”, “IT”; keywords – “job”, “work”; location – “Prague”, “Paris”, “Vinohrady”…
#4 Focus on benefits for the candidate.
Job advertising is like any other advertising. Candidates won’t just be checking whether the role is challenging enough for them, they will also be looking at the job benefits, so make sure they are attractive. Candidates today expect numerous perks, from the basics such as the option to work from home, social and team-building events, gym membership, or free coffee in the workplace, to more valuable ones such as pension insurance, public transport contributions, and professional training and growth.
- Ad opening example: This is a great chance for you to develop your skills and kick-off your career even before graduation!
#5 Don’t forget the salary.
The anticipated salary, usually stated as a “from-to” range to leave you some space for negotiation, is a key factor for many candidates when deciding whether to send their CV or not.
#6 Visual content is the new king.
Plain text has much less power over people’s attention than an image or video. Ask your graphics or marketing department for appealing photos of your colleagues, offices and products. If you have a company video, don’t forget to include it.
#7 Make things personal.
This is a difficult one, but in the end, we are talking about work – an activity to which we devote over half of our waking moments during adulthood. If you can include some words from the candidate’s prospective boss or team member, or a short motivational text from the CEO, you will bring a little human touch to the process.
#8 Don’t lie, don’t exaggerate.
This is something usually recommended to job-seekers when they are preparing their resumes, but the same applies to writing job ads. Being honest from the beginning dramatically increases employee loyalty and retention.
Basic Job Description Template
- Prepare a brief description of the role, about four sentences, highlighting the most interesting and challenging elements, most important personal traits, and prospects for the candidate.
- Example 1: Are you ambitious? This role has amazing prospects for potential growth – both personal and professional.
- Example 2: We seek natural communicators. If you are outgoing, self-driven and passionate about what you do, you will thrive in this role.
- Example 3: Analytical, precise, reliable. If you can define your personality using all of these three words, our company is the right place for your long-term career development.
- List the key tasks and responsibilities required for this job, in order of importance. Gender-neutral language is recommended.
- Level of education.
- Required specific skills, program / software knowledge.
- Language skills.
- Personal traits.
Previous work experience:
- Years of previous work experience.
- Previous roles.
- Driving license / other licenses.
Salary and job benefits:
- Mention salary range.
- List job benefits in order of importance.
“About us” section:
- Describe your company, its history and current situation.
- Who to contact, and how.
- What the candidate needs to send (resume, cover letter in English and/or local languages, etc.)