How to Write a Compelling Job Description

Your job description is your chance to connect with potential candidates. And first impressions matter! Effective job descriptions are engaging and inclusive, prompting the right people to apply to your jobs. The key to writing effective job descriptions is to find the perfect balance between providing enough detail so candidates understand the role, while keeping your description concise. Read the top five considerations when creating a compelling job description.


1. Use a Clear Job Title

Non-traditional job titles (like “Rockstar Technician” or “Unicorn Planner”) are unrealistic and potentially discriminatory. When thinking about how to write an attractive job title, the first thing to consider is what your ideal candidate finds attractive. If you want to hire a Receptionist and instead advertise for a “Front of House Executive,” you’ll likely attract the wrong people and miss out on qualified candidates.

The second thing you need to consider when deciding how to write a job title is including the keywords you need for your job ad to be seen in search results. The wrong job title can also effecting the ability for search engines and job boards like Endorse, Indeed and Linked-in to push jobs to the right candidates. It is therefore best to keep to industry standard job titles.

2. Speak Directly to Candidates

Effective job descriptions are professional and relatable. Candidates tend to skim job descriptions, so jargon and confusing phrases will turn them off. Before publishing, double-check your description to ensure clarity and accuracy.

Write in a language that the candidate will understand, don’t try to use complicated sentences just to fill up space or make the job more important than it is.

Abbreviations could lead to potential discrimination and put off good candidates who are not familiar with local or occupational acronyms. Job descriptions should reflect actual need for the role whether truly essential or just desirable ensuring individual capabilities matches job requirement.


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3. Describe the Purpose of the Role

Help candidates visualise a typical day at work and core expected outcomes. Break up the purpose of the role into one to three key responsibilities or outcomes into short, clear job duties. For example, if you’re advertising for a Digital Marketing Manager, instead of using a vague description (e.g. “You will be responsible for the Digital Marketing department”), describe specific responsibilities:

Manage all digital marketing channels including the company website, blogs, emails and social media) to ensure brand consistency. Monitor social media account activity and respond to users comments and reviews.

This overview should include a description of the job’s major function, how it contributes to Barnet Council’s objectives and why it’s important not just to the council, but to residence and the community as a whole. For example, try to answer the question, “How does this role contribute to making people’s lives better, or solve existing business or social problems?”

4. Provide Concise Responsibilities and Tasks

In this section, focus on a high-level list of responsibilities that don’t get too technical. Highlight the day-to-day activities of the position. This will help candidates understand the work environment and the activities they will be exposed to on a daily basis. This level of detail will help the candidate determine if the role and Barnet Council suit their profile, helping you attract the best candidates for your position.

Specify how the position fits into the organisation. Indicate who the person reports to and how they will function within Barnet Council, helping candidates see the bigger picture and understand how the role impacts the business and residence. It is a big draw to candidates when they know they will have a positive impact on peoples lives.

You should also avoid using language that describes a singular focus on a narrow set of abilities, for instance, “perfectionists” or those who are “forever tinkering.” Again, you risk turning off highly qualified talent that could excel in the role without these traits, or that doesn’t self-identify with these terms.


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5. Hook Your Candidate

Hook your reader with details about what makes your directorate or team unique. Your job description is an introduction to your team and your employer brand. Include details about your department culture to sum up why a candidate would love to work for you. 82% of job seekers in the UK rated a brief company/department description as important information to see in a job description.

Include an exact job location. Provide an exact job location to optimise your job posting so it appears higher in job search results.

Include details about works hours/environment and the opportunity of hybrid working. 94% of job seekers in the UK rated work hours and schedule information as important to see in a job description. Additionally, 83% of job seekers in the UK rated work environment details as key information in a job description.


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