How to Write a Job Description
AmalgaNation, Inc.

AmalgaNation, Inc.

We are on a mission to empower small businesses to make great hires.

Introduction

First impressions matter. This is especially true when it comes to hiring employees. Knowing how to write a job description can be the difference between no applicants and more applicants.

If you are struggling to find workers, you may want to start by looking at your job description. If you wrote anything short of “wow”, the perfect fit may have kept right on clicking. In this article we will teach how to write a job description that brings you more quality applicants.

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Table of Contents

What is a job description?

A job description is an essential part of the job application process. If well-written, it helps applicants determine whether the role is a good fit for them.

A job description is a document that provides job seekers with an overview of the role that you need filled. The description is usually drawn up by the person responsible for making the hire. In larger organizations, this person may work with the HR department or a recruiter.

The job seeker is not the only one who benefits from great job descriptions. In fact, a great job description is vital to an organization as well. Why? Great job descriptions ensure that the applicants that match the needs of the role.

Having a clear guideline can help to streamline the selection process.

What to include in a job description?

Knowing how to structure your job description is critical to writing a great one. At a minimum all great job descriptions should include:

Job title.

If you want to find great candidates, you have to be seen by great candidates. Be sure to name your job title something that they are actually searching for.

For example, “Project Coordinator III” is probably less likely to be searched for than “Project Coordinator” or “Senior Project Coordinator”.

This doesn’t mean you have to change your entire internal classification system, however, your job description is basically an advertisement. Treat it like you are trying to reach your target customer.

Company overview.

Just like in the job title, you want your company to be as appealing as possible to great candidates. Treat this as not only a way to find applicants but as another way to advertise your brand.

Don’t use the standard “XYZ Company is a leader in the aerospace industry” line. That’s boring. Use something like, “Ever wonder what it would be like to go to the moon? XYZ company is growing so fast, we’ll get there soon. Climb aboard our rocketship!”

That creates buzz around your brand!

Additionally, make sure you communicate your mission and your values. If you want a successful long term hire, they are going to want to know what purpose they are waking up to serve everyday. If no one in your organization knows why they are working hard – there may not be a company for very long anyway.

Job overview.

Just like in the job title, you want your company to be as appealing as possible to great candidates. Treat this as not only a way to find applicants but as another way to advertise your brand.

Don’t use the standard “XYZ Company is a leader in the aerospace industry” line. That’s boring. Use something like, “Ever wonder what it would be like to go to the moon? XYZ company is growing so fast, we’ll get there soon. Climb aboard our rocketship!”

That creates buzz around your brand!

Additionally, make sure you communicate your mission and your values. If you want a successful long term hire, they are going to want to know what purpose they are waking up to serve everyday. If no one in your organization knows why they are working hard – there may not be a company for very long anyway.

Responsibilities and duties.

Clearly Communicate the Core Responsibilities. Your list of responsibilities should be detailed but concise. Be sure to include any duties that may be unique to your organization.

For example, if you are hiring for a client manager – be sure to include whether or not the candidate is responsible for generating their own book of business. If they are, will they need to have social media expertise? Or advertising experience? If you provide all leads – clarify that.

Highlight the day-to-day activities of the position. Do you know what one of the most frequently asked questions in an interview is?

“What’s a typical work day look like?”

Find a great candidate that doesn’t like the answer in the interview and you may be searching again. Answer that question here – show the candidate what it’s like to be in this position on a daily basis.

Specify how the position fits into the organization. This is not only a great place to show who this position reports to, but it’s also an opportunity to show that a person in this role has a clear growth path.

One of the biggest reasons people do not accept jobs or quickly leave jobs is because there is clearly no room for growth. 

An example may be, “This position will report the VP of Sales. A successful candidate who produces at a high level can move up to an Assistant Vice President role from this position.”

Qualifications and skills.

Include a list of hard and soft skills. Aside from education, previous job experience, certifications and technical skills required for the role, you should also include soft skills, like communication and problem solving. Another overlooked item would be to list personality traits that you envision for a successful candidate.

Be concise. It’s tempting to list out every requirement you can think of for your ideal hire. Be careful though! Listing too many qualifications and skills could dissuade potential candidates. Candidates get overwhelmed and shy away from long lists of qualifications and skills.

Salary and benefits.

Include salary information. There is nothing worse as a job seeker than thinking you have found your dream role and then finding out that you would make less money than you ever have if you accept the position.

Avoid the surprises. You know what your range is or what you value this position at. Be transparent. You can always negotiate but at least it gives applicants an idea of what they would be making. And if you are completely unsure of what to offer – check out a great tool like Salary.com or Payscale.com.

Benefits are more important now than ever. Employees are looking for benefits now more than ever. They want to feel valued. Not every business can afford health insurance packages, 401k’s, or paid leave. But, if you do offer some kind of benefits – be sure to share them. This will help you stand out in a crowded room!

Now you know how to write a job description.

Hopefully, now you can see that is critical to know how to write a job description. It is important to make sure you are finding candidates that align with the role, both internally and externally.

If you include the sections outlined in this post and craft your content to be more intriguing and personal – we know you will stand when it comes to finding great applicants.

Your days of copy and pasting are over! Go write a great job description and make great hires!

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