A job description (JD) is often your first line of communication with candidates. This is your opportunity to share what you expect out of the role and what life is like at your company.
The quality of your job description affects the quality of your applicants. With a strong understanding of the job responsibilities and your company’s culture, candidates can assess whether they are a good fit for the role (and vice versa).
We’ve compiled a six-step guide and a checklist of best practices to help you craft a JD that attracts high quality applicants and makes a great first impression.
1) Selecting an effective job title
The job title helps candidates decide if they should spend time reading your job description or move on. Titles should be simple, precise, and consistent with other role titles in your industry. This way, applicants can easily find your listing in search results and know that the job opening is for them.
2) Introducing the organization
Candidates skim through hundreds of job postings every day, and they need to know why your company is different. We suggest including a brief introduction that showcases your company’s achievements and lets your organization’s personality shine through.
3) Specifying the key job responsibilities
Your description of the job responsibilities should help applicants visualize their potential role at the company. We recommend summarizing day-to-day tasks, specifying major functions, and illuminating how the role fits within the rest of the organization.
4) Laying out the job requirements
While it is important to attract the most qualified applicants, remember not to overcrowd the JD with requirements. We suggest generating a concise list of “must haves,” as well as a list of preferred skills that new hires could otherwise learn on the job. These details will help candidates understand what they truly need to be successful in the role, as well as what they should highlight in their application to stand out. Try to avoid using superlatives like “exceptional coding skills,” as these tend to overwhelm applicants.
5) Spotlighting the perks
To really sell the job opportunity to candidates, you’ll need to flaunt your company’s culture, values, and unique benefits. For instance, if your company offers flexible work hours or educational opportunities, be sure to include these details in your description. You could also help applicants see the bigger picture by clarifying their potential to grow within the company.
6) Presenting a call to action
Crafting a powerful call to action can further motivate job seekers to apply for your position. For example, a phrase like “send us your resume” can create a sense of ease and urgency in the application process. Remember to include up-to-date contact information so applicants can reach out to you if necessary.
Zoho Recruit simplifies the JD creation process with customizable templates that you can post across multiple job boards. Check out Zoho Recruit’s job description templates to get started.
To summarize, here is a list of best practices to follow while crafting your job description:
Use industry-relevant keywords so candidates can easily find your job posting.
Connect with all potential candidates by using inclusive language. You may even translate your description into a second language to attract a broader pool of applicants.
Avoid using coercive or negative language (e.g. “can’t be lazy,” “must be a perfectionist”).
Help candidates fully understand the role and responsibilities by including a clear, detailed, and concise summary of the role.
Avoid internal jargon. Instead, use titles and words that anyone in the industry could understand.
Don’t overwhelm applicants with a long list of requirements.
Define the type of employment (e.g. full time, part time, per diem).
Review JDs regularly and update them as necessary.
Communicate with existing employees about the skills required for the role and what the team could be missing
Make the application process mobile friendly.
A job description that is concise, interesting, skimmable, and descriptive can help you stand out among the rest and attract the right candidates.