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How to Write the Perfect Job Description
4 minute read
Writing an apt job description (or JD) helps employers acquire the right suitable talent. Furthermore, a job description is the best place where companies can promote themselves and entice future employees.
While a job description should display the necessary details, candidates should know before applying for a particular job role; adding a tinge of creativity makes the mundane job description interesting to read and makes it stand out from the pack. The idea is to treat a job description as an ad for your position where you want to attract the best while setting the right expectations for the role.
Moreover, add the power of job networking platforms to post and promote your job requisition. A small, concise, and creatively drafted write-up will do the mighty task of attracting the right talent pool you can keep building your talent repository.
What is a Job Description?
A job description is a written description of the responsibilities of an employee with regard to a specific job position. It explains the relationship between the employee and the various components of the organization such as the hierarchy. It gives an overview of the work culture and most importantly it lists the key duties and tasks. Though the main purpose of a job description is to define the job role with a prime goal of attracting prospective candidates, it also helps arrive at salary ranges, establish new job titles and grades, assess the objectives and goals for each job role, and conduct employee performance reviews.
Now, let’s take a few steps together to land that perfect job description.
The components of an ideal JD are:
- Job Title
- Job description
- Company description
- Work culture
- Expected Qualifications
- Expected Experience
- Required Skills
- Job responsibilities
Now, let's dive deeper into each component of the JD.
1. Write an Apt Job Title
The job title is the most crucial component of the job description as it will be the first thing to be noticed by candidates and sourcing professionals. Therefore, keeping your job title specific and accurate is very important. Avoid using jargon and confusing job titles. If there are four or five synonyms for a particular job title, use the most commonly searched and used term as the job title.
Pro-tips for writing a job title
- Think like a job seeker to attract the right set of candidates.
- Identify the most searched terms and abbreviations for a job role.
- Conduct keyword research and identify synonyms for a job title.
- Look at the job titles other organizations used for similar job roles.
- Arrive at a job title that looks professional, searchable, and appealing.
2. Write a Crisp Company Description
While adding the company details to a JD, it is essential to give an overview of the company in terms of products/services, markets, growth numbers, and, if possible, what it intends to do in the future. Good to have elements could include the company's national and international level achievements, awards and recognitions, CSR, sustainability, or philanthropic initiatives. To be sure, a succinct company description builds brand awareness and helps sell the job to the right candidate. Consider mentioning the organization's rich history and motivating content covering the conceptualization and birth of the organization. The idea is not to go overboard (with the description) but to give a teaser of sorts for the candidate, just enough for them to dig deep into the company's website and social media handles.
3. Mention the Expected Qualifications and Experience
Job positions require a specific level of education, a particular degree or field of study, or a certification to qualify for the open job position. In such cases, it is essential to mention that qualifying is a mandatory and basic requirement. Similarly, there are job positions where relevant experience and proven expertise in that field carry higher weightage than the expected educational qualification. In such instances, make sure to mention which one is the mandatory and primary qualifying factor and which one is an added advantage for a candidate to become more likely to be preferred in addition to their other qualifying factors.
4. Mention the Expected Skill Requirements
Skill requirements refer to both hard and soft skills. Hard skills refer to technical and subject knowledge. While mentioning the hard skill requirements you can list the hands-on experience of using certain tools and techniques. But make sure not to become too specific about the know-hows of a particular tool. For instance, if you are looking for a statistical analyst then in the skill requirement you can expect the candidate to have a command of any of the well-known statistical analysis softwares rather than expecting the candidate to be trained on the particular software that your organization is using.
Soft skills refer to interpersonal skills such as communication, team management, and personality related traits such as decision-making capability, logical thinking, temper, etc. Here, note that listing too many skill requirements might dissuade your job applicants.
According to an analysis done by Monster based on 9,40,000 job listings, communication is the most in-demand soft skill.
A candidate's long-term success depends 75% on interpersonal skills and 25% on technical know-how, according to research conducted by Carnegie Melon Foundation and Stanford Research Institute.
5. List the Key Responsibilities
Give an outline of the primary responsibilities and goals, brief the day-to-day responsibilities, and mention the hierarchy of the position and to whom the candidate reports. Ensure that the list of responsibilities is not too lengthy. Instead, consider explaining how the position fits and allows the candidate to be an integral part of the organization. Here it is more important to make an effort to showcase the importance of the role within the organization so that candidates feel valued even before applying.
Pro-tips to write the best job description
- Know the persona of your audience, such as the age group, seniority level, and key demographics.
- Use words and phrases that will enhance inclusivity and encourage diverse applicant groups.
- Engage using a conversational tone while striving to remain professional.
- Ensure to remain searchable by keyword optimizing your JD.
- Ensure that it accurately represents the track record required to perform the role and avoid unrealistic expectations.
- Make sure not to use the same job description as others because each JD is a unique opportunity to develop employer branding.
- Consider adding an essence of creativity while keeping the length concise.
- Keep the length of your JD between 800 to 2000 characters.
To Sum up
Many experienced industry professionals and successful recruiters recommend having a clear idea about the characteristics of your ideal candidate while writing your job description.
Leading organizations and talent acquisition experts periodically alter and redefine job descriptions according to the evolving job trends and hiring needs. To be sure, the time and effort invested in preparing a crisp job description come with some upsides. Besides attracting the right talent, setting the right expectations and giving the right impression are just some benefits of getting the JD right.
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