Writing a Strong Job Description

A job description does more than merely describe the type of work to be performed by summarizing essential responsibilities, activities, qualifications and skills for a vacancy.

It is also your sales pitch to candidates, and a time saver for you if it attracts good prospects because the better job you do in articulating the desired characteristics and experience levels you seek, the better you screen the field of  qualified candidates --  which, in turn, will simplify your recruiting process timeline. In short, describe your ideal candidate and then target them with your job description.

Find the perfect balance – somewhere between 700 and 2,000 characters – between being concise and providing enough detail so prospects grasp the role and your company.

You should use good, detailed descriptions about the job role to get prospects’ attention and keep them interested by sharing your company’s values and culture because your company is a unique community of people and values. If your company’s culture values a work hard/play hard attitude, share it.  Conversely if your company places a value on people who don’t take themselves too seriously spell that out in the job description.

Some other things that you may want to think about when writing your job description are:

  • Be sure that it reflects the unique characteristics of the position to lure jobseekers.
  • Share how the expectations of day-to-day responsibilities will contribute to your company’s future and objectives.
  • You also want to discuss the nature and desirability of your company’s benefits—set the salary range and don’t waste your time and others unless you are interviewing candidates who would be happy earning what you can afford to pay them.
  • Include information about who the position reports to, who they would work with daily, what tools they will be expected to use and what their output should be. If there’s a training period, explain how long it will be and what it entails.
  • This would be a good time to include specific metrics that the person in the role should accomplish, as well as information about potential growth opportunities for greater autonomy or leadership.
  • Discuss what applicants must bring to the table in terms of training foundation and years of experience, and establish which are requirements (“must haves”) and which are preferences (“nice to have qualities”).

If you are in need of assistance writing your job description, or even to help you find qualified candidates, SC Works business services representatives can assist you. To learn more about what SC Works has to offer businesses, click here. 

To contact your local SC Works center, click here.