Wrong candidates or no applications? Here’s how to write a good job description

You write your job description, post it online and clap your hands with glee as applications flood in! But wait, why don’t any of these have the correct skills, where is their experience, why are they wasting their time and yours?

You need to take a good look at your job description. Your job description is your chance to connect with potential candidates. And first impressions matter. Effective job descriptions are engaging and inclusive, prompt the right people to apply and help you trim down your time-to-fill.

To write a good job description, keep these pointers in mind:

Use a clear job title

Non-traditional job titles (like “Rockstar Engineer” or “Sensational Software Demon”) are unrealistic and potentially discriminatory. Trade disingenuous job titles for clearer ones. If you want to hire a Call Centre Agent and instead advertise for a “Sales & Marketing Specialist,” you are likely to attract the wrong people and miss out on qualified candidates.

Speak directly to candidates

Effective job ads are professional and relatable. Candidates tend to skim job descriptions, so jargon and confusing phrases will turn them off. Before publishing, double-check your description to ensure clarity and accuracy.

Describe tasks

Help candidates visualize a typical day at work. Break responsibilities into short, clear job duties. For example, if you’re advertising for a Digital Marketing Manager, instead of using a vague description (e.g. “You will be responsible for the Digital Marketing department”), describe specific responsibilities:

Manage all digital marketing channels (e.g. website, blogs, emails and social media) to ensure brand consistency

Measure ROI and KPIs

Monitor social media accounts