How do you write a great job description?

Job search iconLast month we talked about choosing the right job title to give job hunters the best chance of finding your jobs and keeping the search engines interested.

The general advice carries over:

  1. Write like a human – your readers are people, not machines. Write for them first.
  2. Think about your keywords – words and phrases you want the search engines to notice
  3. If your SEO efforts make the writing clunky, you’ve put the cart before the horse.

Quick, we haven’t got much time

The description always starts with a brief summary paragraph. Think about having 20 seconds to get the key information across to a candidate. Use words they would use and mention:

  • Business area
  • Role type
  • Summary of tasks
  • Seniority or experience level

After that you’ve got three key sections to write more detail (in whatever order):

  • About the role
  • About the employer
  • About the ideal candidate

Don’t waste words

Try Googling “a fantastic opportunity for the right individual” – just short of 10 million people had the same idea. Wasted words.

Plain English

When we’re not full time writers we have a tendency to reach for fancy words to make ourselves look smarter. Plain words are normally quicker to grasp and instill more confidence. We all poke fun at Estate Agents and their ‘dwellings’ and ‘requirements’ – what’s wrong with ‘houses’ and ‘needs’? Are you doing the same with your job descriptions?

…and finally. Check and check again. We said this last time. It’s worth repeating.

Let us know if we can help with anything.


PS Indeed has a nice summary for Writing an Effective Job Description on their site. Make sure you don’t violate any of their rules and turn down Indeed traffic (we’ve known it happen).