Learning to Write an Effective Job Description 

With the end of the year fast approaching, you may be thinking about your 2015 hiring plans. After all, wouldn’t it be great to start the year off right with some fresh talent joining your ranks? But it’s been a while since you’ve hired anyone new. Maybe the recession got you colder than winter. Perhaps the purse strings have been tighter than an SUV in a small cars parking spot. Whatever the reason, your need for personnel is only outmatched by your inability to write a compelling job description and value proposition.

What do you write to get people to send resumes your way?

Getting the summary done right

The first thing you may want to ask yourself when writing a job description is why do you need new employees in the first place? It sounds silly, but knowing exactly what you want out of your new employee means knowing what roles need to be filled.

“Always ask yourself what roles need to be filled, and what exactly they are intended to help you accomplish.”

When you have an idea of what kind of role you want filled, you’ll want to give that role a title, according to Business Know-How. The title should be no more than a few words that reflect what the primary role of the job entails. If there’s a certain level of experience that goes with the position, you should add a level to the start of the title, such as lead, assistant or senior.

From there, you should be able to write a summary of the job. As Mashable notes, you want to describe why you need the role filled and how that person will fit within the work environment. Because you want to keep the overall posting short, it should be no more than three or four sentences.

Knowing how to throw balls so you can juggle

You also need to decide what you want your new talent to do once they join your ranks. Using present tense action verbs, develop a list of about 5-10 duties that a person is expected to complete when hired.

Of course, you should build a list of qualifications to go with those responsibilities so the people hired actually know what they’re doing. Monster.com suggests combining several things: A number of years of experience for a given prerequisite, a search optimized keyword for people who are looking for work via Google and some actionable terms such as “team player” or “highly motivated.” That’s on top of the desired technical skills you need to list. We recommend that you are clear about your culture as well as the qualities and characteristics that are as critical to an individual’s success as the technical competencies. The truth is, many job seekers who accept jobs do so only later to learn that while the position is right, the culture is not. Explaining your company’s personality, as well as the characteristics needed for the individual to perform satisfactorily within the social norms of your business or department may help you avoid a potential bad hire as well as help reduce the number of needless interviews..

Once those are listed, it’s best to fill out additional details, such as if you offer a fixed salary, who the person is expected to report to and the term of employment. Once these are completed, you have a great start to a job description that will get people banging on your door with resumes in hand.

Have an Immediate
Hiring Need?


This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

If You're a Job Seeker

Related Blogs

Is total compensation all about the money

Is Total Compensation All About the Money?

For 25+ years we have recruited on thousands of searches for companies in just about every industry. These companies have ranged in size from start-up to Fortune 50.  The result


4 Ways Employees Want To Be Engaged

As a human resources professional, you’re often tasked with making sure that employees are actively participating in the jobs they were hired for. After all,