How to Write a Job Description to Attract Top Candidates

March 26, 2019 4 Corner Resources 4 Corner Resources

Knowing how to write a job description that is both interesting and informative is one of the most significant skills a hiring manager or recruiter can have. A high-quality job description will help attract top candidates and pique their interest in your position and company.

Understanding how to write a good job description involves more than stringing together words; it’s about knowing and effectively communicating what the position entails along with the skills, knowledge, or experience you are looking for in a candidate. As a professional recruiting and staffing agency, we thought it would be helpful to create a list of tips on how to write a great job description.

5 Tips for Writing a Great Job Description

Tip #1 for How to Write a Job Description: Be Specific

When trying to attract top candidates and narrow your focus to those who are the most qualified, it’s vital that you include specific information in your job description. Generally speaking, the more detailed the description, the better. For example, if you’re looking for a developer with a specific skill set, you should indicate that you’re looking for someone who “is proficient with Javascript, JQuery, and HTML5” rather than just someone with “front-end development experience.”

Tip #2 for How to Write a Job Description: Avoid Verbosity

When seeking a new job, a prospective candidate isn’t looking to read a novel. According to CareerBuilder, “The average job seeker spends fewer than 30 seconds reviewing a job posting.” You need to get to the point quickly while providing job seekers with enough information to understand what you’re looking for and to make an informed decision about whether to apply. We also recommend writing a job description that is not several pages long. According to The Under Cover Recruiter, job descriptions that consist of 4,000-5,000 characters have the highest click-to-apply rates — though even this ranges on the long side.

Tip #3 for How to Write a Job Description: Use Relevant, Industry-Specific Keywords

Although some companies try to stand out by using job titles like “Tech Guru” or “Sales Rockstar” in their job descriptions, this makes it more challenging for job seekers to find your posting online. How can you expect to attract top candidates if they can’t find your job listings? Use simple terms and keywords, as well as straightforward job titles, that people are actually searching for to help increase your chances of ranking organically with major search engines like Google and Bing. For example, if you’re looking to attract top candidates in the medical field, be sure to include the term “RN” rather than only referring to the position as a “registered nurse.”

Tip #4 for How to Write a Job Description: Write for Mobile

According to the Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans own a cell phone of some kind, and 77% specifically own a smartphone (92% and 88% of those in the 18-29 and 30-49 age ranges, respectively). According to an Indeed.com article, 78% of millennials, 73% of Gen Xers, and 57.2% of baby boomers are using their mobile devices to find jobs.

Because job seekers are using their mobile devices to search for jobs more frequently, this means that you need to know how to write a great job description that works for mobile. Part of this includes writing in a format that works well for mobile viewing such as breaking up large chunks of text into bulleted lists, breaking the content into sections by using section headers, and calling out important information with bold text.

Tip #5 for How to Write a Job Description: Use the Inverted Pyramid

Because job candidates spend fewer than 30 seconds reading (skimming) your job postings, it’s imperative that you list your most relevant information at the top. This approach — the “inverted pyramid” — is commonly used by journalists and entails putting the most vital information at the top to funnel down to the least important content.

Learning how to write a job description that grabs attention and makes the best talent want to apply takes practice, skill, and finesse. We hope that these tips provide you with some best practices so you can grow and improve your job description writing skills. If you still have difficulty writing the perfect job description, working with a professional recruiter or headhunter can help.

Partner with an Experienced Professional Recruiting Firm

4 Corner Resources (4CR) is an award-winning team of experienced recruiting and staffing professionals. We’ve partnered with major Fortune 500 companies and small businesses across the U.S. to provide the best variety of professional staffing services. When you work with a 4CR technical recruiter, you are working with an expert who uses our tried-and-true methodology and processes to source, screen, and place the best candidates.

See how our team of recruiting and staffing experts can take your job descriptions to the next level. Contact our team today to learn more or to get answers to your questions.

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