How to write an effective job description

Many employers underestimate the value of an effective job description, especially when written for the internet. However, the job description is your first contact with a potential employee, and is where you convince them that you are the perfect company to work for. A well-written and planned job description can also reduce the unqualified candidates that you get, because people will understand exactly what the job entails and whether they fit that mold. Before you write a word, sit down with the department manager and decide exactly what you want from a future employee. Jot down job responsibilities, role in the company hierarchy, etc. Once you’ve done that, then you can start writing.

The first part of your description is the Job Title, which should also serve as your Job Description Title. Be specific, and try to stick to accepted titles that people will know and recognize. For example, “Direct of Web Development” instead of “A person to run our website.” You might want to include a phrase about the type of company in the title. So “Director of Web Development for an Online Job Board.” Your title is first contact with a potential employee; make it eye-catching and as relevant as you can. The first paragraph should be a high level overview of both the company and the position. Even if you want the company name confidential, say what it is that you do. You also need to give an overview of the position, preferably a one sentence elevator pitch.

The next section should go into the specifics of the job. This usually works best as a bulleted list of short, concise, specific tasks that the person will be expected to perform. Start these with a present tense verb (“Develops landing pages to enhance SEO”). Order them by importance, and don’t include anything that won’t take at least 5% of their time. The next step is to list the employee requirements, which is important to weeding out candidates. Make sure to include things like required education, work experience, computer skills, industry experience, etc. Feel free to list “preferred” skills as well.

Last, include a blurb about the company and culture. This is a place where you can really attract the right person, and you should really let the personality of your company shine through. The key to a quality job posting is to write the job description so to attract the most applicants. It is the employer’s job to sell their company to employees so they apply. Put a little time and effort in the posting up front, it will only create better results on the back end. –Many of the ideas in this post were suggested by our sales team. If you’ve got any questions about writing job descriptions for America’s Job Exchange, give them a call! 1-866-923-6284

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