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5 Helpful Tips on How to Write an Effective Job Description

By Poyen Ramos on November 11, 2017

A job description is a critical document for every position. It's similar to a blueprint in that they detail the layout and important aspects of a job. When it comes to recruiting, having a broad job description is bound to give you hundreds of unqualified candidates—something a lot of recruiters and human resources personnel would want to avoid.

According to RecruitLoop, a good job description performs these important aspects:

  1. It describes the skills and competencies that are needed to perform the role;
  2. It defines where the job fits within the overall company hierarchy;
  3. It is used as the basis for the employment contract; and
  4. It is a valuable performance management tool.

To be able to write an effective job description, here are 5 tips we got from HR professionals.

1. Give specifics.

Rather than stating that a business development position "talks to clients and increase sales," it's better to spell out the specific requirements of the role. This would include being involved in pitching and presenting, generate new leads, maintaining customer relationships and ensuring customer loyalty and so on.

2. Give some idea of the company culture.

Let the job seeker know what a great place they may be signing up with. It’s the one area of the job description that is most often forgotten. When you are out vying for the best talent, a job ad that lets the job seeker know that real human beings work there will help.

3. Pick your job posting title with care, then test it.

There's a big difference in the number of applications between saying ‘customer service rep’ and ‘customer service representative’ in your title. On average, ‘rep’ received 15 fewer job applicants than ‘representative.’ The shorthand seems harmless, but if it’s not what applicants are searching for, then it’s not what applicants are going to find in their results. Research for the popular keywords for that kind of job and make sure to include that in the description.

4. Keep job descriptions current.

Change happens and there have been many jobs that have significantly changed over the years. If your job descriptions haven't been up to date, confusion and legal challenges are headed your way. The time to review and rewrite your job description is now.

5. Sell the opportunity

The job posting’s job is to sell the opportunity and convert the reader. A good job description focuses purely on job expectations and outcomes, not how the job is handled by the person who happens to be in it.

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