AnicaJohn
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Founder, levelup90.com

Your team is rapidly expanding, and everyone is working long hours. You know you need to bring on more help, but recruiting the right talent is going to be a long and daunting process. 

There is one way you can set yourself up for success, and that’s writing a strong job description. A well-written job description can elicit interest in candidates that have the right qualifications, and it can be an opportunity to showcase the best aspects of working for your company. Here are a few steps that employers often forget to take when writing their job descriptions — even though they lead to more attractive and effective job postings. 

1. Survey the landscape.

It’s a great idea to pull job descriptions for similar roles from other companies to see how people describe the responsibilities and attract candidates to the opportunity. It also gives you a chance to list necessary skills that you might not have thought of, or include buzz words that could be useful for search engines to scrape. Surveying existing job descriptions will also give you a chance to see what the competition offers to candidates. Using this information, you can tailor your writing to highlight aspects of working at your company that might differentiate the experience for your future employee.

2. Check for biases in your language. 

In our current strong economy, employers need to expand their pipelines to include as diverse a workforce as they can possibly attract. There are many good tips out there to ensure that your words are targeting wide audiences. In my conversations with women and minorities, I find the most important one is to avoid biased words like “ninja” or “hacker” that tend to conjure up images of young men and have the potential to discourage women and minorities from applying. 

3. Write in your brand voice.  

I find that the best job descriptions are ones that are written in the brand voice of the company. This is especially true for consumer-facing employers. When you take the time to write in a style that is consistent with the company, it gives candidates a view into your company culture, and a cursory sense of what it might be like to work with you. Writing in your brand voice also differentiates your company from the thousands of bland job descriptions out there that contain boilerplate job responsibilities and qualification requirements. By writing in the brand voice, you also stand a higher chance of attracting applicants that resonate with the culture, mission, and values of your company. 

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Anica John is a serial entrepreneur and founder of www.levelup90.com, a professional development platform for women in technology.