How to Write a Job Description Like a Pro?

How to Write a Job Description Like a Pro?

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Have you ever struggled with writing clear, precise and compelling job descriptions?

If you have, this article is for you. It will let you in on recruiting professionals’ job description writing secrets and present resources and tools that will help you write your job description like a pro.

The trouble with job descriptions

Sometimes writing a great job description can be easier said than done. If you’ve ever stared at the blank page, you know how frustrating that can be.
But you don’t need to struggle anymore! 🙂

This article is your guide for writing job descriptions like a pro.

I will let you in on recruiting professionals’ job description writing secrets.

If you want to learn all their little tips and tricks for writing great job descriptions, this article is for you!

The benefits of writing job descriptions like a pro

Carefully crafted, clear and precise job description are important for two main reasons.

First is improved internal communication, and second is improved external communication.

Improved internal communication

Clearly and precisely described job position can eliminate possible misunderstandings inside your company.

Writing down all the job position’s duties and responsibilities will get everyone on the same page about the position you are looking to fill.

Without it, you risk managers having one idea, HR professionals another, department you are looking to fill with a new role third, etc.

Improved external communication

Clearly and precisely described job position is crucial for communicating your needs and requirements with possible candidates.

Crafting a compelling job description is the first step in finding and hiring your ideal job candidate.

A well written job description can help you attract high quality candidates and repel unqualified, thus saving your time and money.

How to write a job description like a pro?

Here is the list of essential knowledge, resources and tools that will help you write your job description like a pro! 💪

1. Learn the difference between job description and job posting

Recruiting professionals know the difference between job descriptions and job postings

A job description is an internal document which explains company’s job position. It contains all the details about the role and it is written in a formal tone.

A job posting, on the other hand, is an advertisement for your open job description. It is a document meant for external use, to attract candidates.

In short: Job description explains the job, while job posting sells it.

Job-posting-ultimate-guide-job-description (2)

2. Follow the common job description structure

All professionally written job descriptions follow the common structure:

  • Job title

           Write a clear and precise job title. Use commonly known titles in line with industry norms.

  • Role summary

          Explain why is this position important for your company and specify how it contributes to your business goals.

  • Duties and responsibilities list

           Don’t write a laundry list of job duties and responsibilities, just list the main ones.

  • Qualifications and skills list

           List the required education level and type, professional certifications, years of experience, technical and soft skills.

Job-description-structure

3. Define your candidate persona

As you write your job description, keep your ideal candidate in mind.

Imagine a person that would be a perfect fit for this job.

This representation of your ideal candidate is called candidate persona. 👩

Provide enough information and descriptions to help your ideal candidates visualize themselves in your job position!

4. Use job description templates

Instead writing your job descriptions from scratch, start with professionally written job description templates.

These job description templates are a great starting point.

They will save your time and make sure that you don’t miss any of the key requirements for a certain job position.

Feel free to copy these job descriptions templates and customize them to suit your own needs.

5. Use professional tools

Modern recruiting professionals use specialized recruiting tools to help them write and advertise their job descriptions.

Specialized recruiting tools can help you with all phases of posting jobs, from writing job descriptions to publishing and promoting your job ads.

With professional recruiting software you can access free job description templates, build beautiful career sites (no coding needed!) and publish your job postings on multiple job boards with just one click.

You can also set up employee referral programs, create engaging email campaigns and easily share your job postings on social media – all from one easy to use platform!

And… voila!

That’s it.

Now you know how to write your job descriptions like a pro.

So go on and start writing! 🙂

How Conversation Bridges the Gap Between Job Description and Job Seeker

How Conversation Bridges the Gap Between Job Description and Job Seeker

Written by Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy.

From Ambiguity to Clarity, Through Conversation

Resumes, social profiles and job boards are two-dimensional tools used to present four-dimensional individuals. Each is incapable of communicating your whole story. You are more than a string of keywords and you are more than the templated “Experience” section on LinkedIn.

When people are boxed into these two-dimensional frames, valuable context is lost, leading to a series of frustrating interactions between job seeker and hiring manager. On average, it takes 52 days to fill an open position — a drawn out process wrought with miscommunication and missed opportunities.

How do you communicate the abstract in one bullet or less?

For any given bullet point on a resume, there are a hundred ways to say it. For example:

  • Used Java to build features for a platform
  • Supported a platform with Java
  • Chose Java to build a platform on

Each effectively showcases experience with Java. But, what is a job seeker’s relationship to Java and how does that exhibit what they can really do? Yes, the Java requirement is met, but what kind of person is best-suited for the role? The keyword “Java” falls short of showing how a job applicant and the job itself fit together. This form of static representation is fundamentally limited due to the job seeker’s inability to provide context around their skills, passions, motivations and career goals.

How can you land your dream job when using vague language to apply to an equally vague job description?

Job descriptions are two-dimensional and fall short of providing job seekers clarity around a position. To cast a wide net, job descriptions are often written with vague requirements — carefully crafted with generic keywords, so as not to discourage anyone from applying. Naturally, this results in unclear expectations. Another issue arises when goals and needs shift, yet the job description remains the same. Unfortunately, this kind of moving target is all too common.

This widening chasm between what a job description says and what hiring managers are really looking for in an applicant causes job seekers to create vague resumes and profiles to ensure they will not be overlooked.

By summing oneself up in a string of bullet points, laden with just the right keywords, context is lost and true understanding is clouded. Having to position yourself to meet a set of vague requirements, neutralizes the magic of you.

What can we do about this?

On both sides of the hiring process, there are fundamental flaws. Only by bridging the information gap that presently exists between hiring managers and job seekers, can we:

  1. Facilitate better understanding of a job outside of its description
  2. Better understand a job seeker outside of his or her resume

This is best achieved through conversation. Flowing dialogue and follow-up questions are effective mechanisms for drilling down and extracting the “Why” and the “Who are you really?” Going past the resume and job description allows both job seekers and hiring managers to make better decisions. We must go beyond the two-dimensional modes of expression. We must find clarity. We need better conversations.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy’s artificially intelligent chatbot personalities bring clarity and simplicity to the hiring process. Wade is an always-on career guide for job seekers, while Wendy assists hiring managers throughout the recruitment process. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium.


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10 Tips for Putting Soft Skills at the Heart of Hiring

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It’s all very well to say ‘Put soft skills at the heart of your hiring process’ but sometimes people need a little help knowing what to do and where to start. Here are my 10 top tips to help you really make a success of using soft skills analytics in your hiring process:

1. Take the time to really think about what kind of personality you need

What kind of personality, skills and person do you need? This helps you know what to look for and the candidates to know if they should apply or not. Some organisations have hundreds of people applying for just one job, but the job descriptions can be so bad that lots of those people aren’t right. Then hours are wasted sifting through CVs and running tests, all because someone didn’t set the right profile at the beginning of the process.

2. Highlight those soft skills when designing the job description and advert

Make it clear what you are looking for. Ensure candidates can see what kind of personality is needed and what competencies are needed. Try to oming empty phrases such as “great team worker” If you copy the job description from the competition on a job board – rethink point 1.

3. Don’t just look at the here and now, in terms of skills

Look at a person’s potential – do they have the right soft skills (good motivation, initiative and communication skills, for example) so that they can grow into a role? Are you hiring for potential and attitude?

4. Think about how the candidate will fit, personality wise, with the rest of the team

Do they fit well to their future manager? Will they make a good cultural fit in the organisation? These are important questions and if you have three great candidates, how they will fit in with their colleagues and boss could be the deciding factor. A good screening software helps you here.

5. Really look at the candidates

Don’t just look at what you want and need. Always keep in mind that there’s a person on the other side. Employer branding is so critical these days and making sure candidates have a good experience, whether they get the job or not, is an important part of that.

6. Be more human than resources

Technology should allow you to have more time to devote to what is most precious and important, so have systems in place that help you to focus on the human stuff, rather than just processes. HR has become far too process driven – onboarding people, processing CVs, etc. Let systems do this because they actually do it better than humans can. Then HR can focus on the human side of HR instead. We still need quality interviews, for example.

7. Make interviewing people who are not a good fit something of the past

With softfactors, you should only be interviewing people who are a good fit. And good fit means not only skills, education and experience but also the right personality, competencies, motivational drives, etc. At softfactors, we have found that a soft skills pre-screening and assessings reduces the amount of time spent interviewing by 50% or more.

8. Give candidates feedback about their fit early

It is part of ensuring there is a good candidate experience. With softfactors testing, candidates receive near instantaneous online feedback about how the test went. Especially younger applicants (not only generation Y – but also) are expecting a direct, immediate and personized feedback.

9. Combine data with gut feeling at interview

Don’t rely on just one, but both together – data and gut feeling. At the end of the day, it’s a person to person thing. And an interview is often a shining performance for one or two hours (on both sides) so using data for your interview helps you detect and read a person – along with your great interview skills.

10. Use the information you have gathered for onboarding and development

Don’t let it just go to waste once the hiring decision is made. People development can start with hiring. The software highlights a person’s gaps, their strengths and weaknesses. This enables organisations to formulate development plans for new hires at the very beginning of the employer-employee journey. Onboarding starts with pre-screening and people development too: that is why we developed softfactors.


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3 Secrets to Make Your Small Business Job Ad Stand Out

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Small business recruiting is tricky. Somehow, small business owners have to work with very little resources to get good employees in the door. Add to the mix a sea of competitors who are bigger, have larger budgets and likely employ recruitment experts to do their bidding and you’ve found yourself in a small business recruiting dilemma. Without big names and big money, small businesses have to be more creative and strategic with how they write job advertisements.

These three secrets will keep small businesses on the right track when writing job ads.

Secret #1: Job ad is not synonymous with job description

For decades, mind-numbingly detailed job advertisements were just a simple copy of what the official company job description was. Formulating job advertisements that bring in top quality candidates who also fit into your company culture starts with clearly describing the summary of the company in an interesting way — not rambling on about meticulous and, let’s be honest, limiting job “requirements”. What our predecessors failed to see was the power of a customer-centric approach to recruiting. Liz Ryan, CEO of Human Workplace, explains the power behind job ads:

Your job ads reach a lot more people than just folks who might actually apply for the job. They reach people who have job-hunting friends, and they reach your customers and prospective customers too. You’re marketing to the entire community in a job ad, the same way you are in your customer-facing marketing campaigns.

The kind of job ads that will attract quality employees are those that depict what it’s really like to work for you, the company culture, the team atmosphere and the passion that goes into the work you do. Job advertisements are a public representation of your brand, so it should be compelling to read, not exhausting.

  • To do: Save the job description for internal purposes. If you’re bored reading it, chances are so will potential candidates. Start thinking about how you want potential candidates to perceive your brand and try to work that messaging into job ads.

Secret #2: Sell the career, not the job

While a breakdown of the job requirements is a must for guiding the right candidates in your direction, job seekers today are looking for experiences. Gone are the days where job security and compensation were all it took to snag candidates. Those things are still important and should be one element of the job advertisement, but what should be emphasized even more is the potential for career development, advancement and the chance to work on a collaborative, supportive team. A successful job ad should also fulfill these three requirements:

  •      Inspire the right candidates to apply
  •      Improve performance of all recruiting efforts
  •      Build brand awareness and affinity

Interestingly, a recent study done on the psychology of job ad verbiage revealed that, “ads focusing on what employers can provide job seekers — like work autonomy, career advancement and inclusion in major decisions — result in better employee-company matches. And these ads produce larger numbers of more qualified applicants.” The authors explain that these kinds of ads garnered three times as many high-quality applicants as ads focused on what the company needs from the candidate.

  • To do: Avoid long lists of job requirements and instead craft job ad verbiage around what a day in the life of this person would be at your company. Discuss the day-to-day tasks with active language and don’t forget to mention how they can flourish at your small business. Small businesses typically provide more freedom for growth and development than large corporations so tell them that!

Secret #3: Consider all generations in the workforce

In 2015, Millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce. While the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers phase out, Gen X becomes the new Baby Boomer and Gen Z gets ready to overtake the Millennials, employers are left with recruiting a multi-generational workforce. The good news: these working generations have more in common than we give them credit for. One of the most important stereotypes to debunk is whether mobile responsive job ads are needed to attract Baby Boomers. Almost half (48%) of Baby Boomers look for job postings on their phones. Keep in mind, they need to be easy to read and easy to follow because although 22% believe they are tech-savvy, HR says only about 6% of the generation understands modern technology.

  • To do: Create job advertisements that attract all generations with the following in mind:
    • Honesty – 35% of employees in every generation value ethics and fairness in leadership as a top trait an employer should have. Show it by mentioning in the job ad how your workplace values fairness
    • Meaningful Work – 30% of Millennials and 27% of Baby Boomers look for an organization that assigns meaningful work.
    • Flexibility – Although flexibility is typically valued most by Millennials (30%), 22% of Baby Boomers still look for flexibility in the organizations they work for.

Small business recruitment might not be a cakewalk, but that’s what experts are here for. These secrets will help small businesses learn how to write effective job ads that are going to catch the attention of the right candidates and ultimately, make your small business successful. For many small companies, job ads are one of the only forms of recruitment they engage in so make it count!

About the Author

Joe Weinlick Headshot for WordPressJoe Weinlick, President of Marketing with Beyond.

Joe is the entrepreneurial marketing leader and brand strategist with a unique mix of strategic, creative, operational, and technical abilities.

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