Successful recruiting starts with a well-written job description. This holds especially true in today’s near-full employment market, where there are fewer people looking for work and more jobs to fill, which makes it harder than ever to make strong hires. In fact, 95 percent of companies in a recent Business Roundtable survey indicated that they are having problems finding workers who possess the needed skill sets.
A recent study on the skills gap revealed, however, that part of the problem might be a gap in communications rather than a lack of skilled workers. In short, there is a misalignment between what hiring leaders are calling for in job postings and what jobseekers’ deem important for resume inclusion.
Read on to learn how to cultivate this valuable skill and to harness the power of free job description templates that can make this process quick and easy.
- Think like a candidate, not like an employer
A job description is a marketing tool – after all, you are trying to “sell” the role to qualified candidates. Thinking about your job descriptions this way is critical to attracting the right people.
To catch the eye of top talent, your job description must appeal to the wants and needs of jobseekers. An excellent job description compels a jobseeker to apply by outlining both what the job and the company have to offer. The Wall Street Journal calls this method of job description writing the Needs-Supplies Approach, which is defined by a job ad that focuses on what the company can do for a candidate rather than the other way around.
Not convinced? Studies conducted in Canada and the U.S. found that job descriptions focusing on candidate needs not only generates more applications, but that the hiring managers reported that the candidate pool responding to candidate-focused job ads were more highly qualified.
To adhere to the Needs-Supplies method, write your job description so that it focuses on how the jobseekers will benefit from the role and the company. Highlight exciting projects and initiatives the new hire will participate in, rather than just adding a laundry list of responsibilities. Talk about special programs and benefits your company offers, and link to photos, video and other content that shows off company culture.
Tool Tip: Want to learn to write a job ad that will appeal to candidates? Try MightyRecruiter’s free job description templates. MightyRecruiter allows you to write a compelling job ad and publish it across multiple job boards, helping you connect with the most highly qualified candidates out there.
- Don’t skip critical sections
There are four major sections in a successful job post:
- the job title and summary,
- a list of responsibilities,
- the required and desired job skills,
- and a company description.
Use subheads to keep the relevant information organized and easy for applicants to find, and while there is no set length for job descriptions, experts recommend around 700 words for a job posting. A too-short job description won’t give qualified candidates a good idea of whether they’ll be a fit for the role. (Similarly, a job post that is too long can be equally ineffective. Candidates shouldn’t have to scroll more than once to read the full post.)
Tool Tip: How can you be sure you don’t leave out critical information in your job ad? Use Live Career’s free job description templates. On LiveCareer, you’ll find professionally written job description examples that will show you how to write a well-crafted job description to attract the best candidates. A poorly written job description will do your company more harm than good. LiveCareer will help set you on the right path.
- Keywords are key to ranking
The keywords you choose to use in your job description will dictate how your job ad ranks in search engine results pages and in the Google for Jobs index.
So when writing your job posting, think about what words and phrases applicants will use to search for a job such as yours. You can also use tools that measure the search volume associated with certain terms, like Google Adwords, to get an idea of which keywords are most appropriate.
Tool Tip: If you’d like to peruse even more free job description templates for clues on the best keywords to choose, take a look at ZipRecruiter’s library of more than 600 examples. The website’s free job description templates and professionally written examples can help even a novice writer craft a sounds job ad.
- Use a standard job title
It’s great to be creative… just not with your job title. A solid job ad should have a straightforward title. Being vague or overly imaginative may seem like a good way to lure jobseekers into applying for your job, but it can easily backfire. Rarely has a jobseeker searched for openings for a Chief Executive Unicorn role or a Dean of Pizza position.
Don’t make the job title the most interesting thing about your job post. Be specific and straightforward when creating a job title. Think about which words qualified jobseekers will actually search for when they are looking for a new opportunity.
Tool Tip: Not sure which job title to use? Indeed’s free job description templates can help. Indeed, which boasts more than 16 million jobs listed on its job board, knows that a great job description is critical to helping your opportunity stand out from the rest. It all starts with a great job title.
- Proofread your posts
You can’t expect to attract top-notch candidates when your job posts have received sub-par editing. A job ad that is rife with typos and punctuation errors sends a message to jobseekers: This company doesn’t have an eye for detail. Always subscribe to the notion that two sets of eyes are better than one.
Typos are easy to make and easier to miss, especially in your own writing. To avoid them, read your posts over several times. Run it through a grammar and spelling check program, such as Grammarly. Then, to be safe, have a trusted colleague read your finished job description one last time. Most free job description templates will also have spelling and grammar checks built in to help.
Tool Tip: How important is it to make sure your job description is error free? Very, very important. Tools like Monster’s free job description templates and sample job descriptions can teach you more about the best practices for writing your job ad.