5 Keys to Writing the Best Job Descriptions


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Today's Question: How do you "dress up" your job descriptions to attract the right applicants?

The answers below are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization composed of ambitious startup founders and business owners.

1. Avoid Corporate Jargon

Unless you want to attract the massive onslaught of standard, similarly worded resumes and cover letters, avoid the boring jargon. Focus on the unique skill sets your company is looking for and provide detailed information on the role. Include information on company culture to attract the right candidates. Add a unique call to action to weed out those who apply to everything with the same resume.

— Angela Delmedico, Elev8 Consulting Group

2. Don't Worry About Reaching a Broad Range of People

Don't be overly concerned with reaching a broad range of applicants. Focus on what you really need. If that means fewer people apply, it could be a good thing – the description should help weed out undesirable applicants. After all, if it's too broad, you may see more applicants, but you'll waste more time weeding through them to find the ones who are qualified.

— John Arroyo, Arroyo Labs, Inc.

3. Keep It Brief

Narrow briefs make for less confusion. Just say what you want and what you can offer. Recruiters are notoriously vague about what skills are strictly required and what are just added benefits. This goes doubly for technology positions. It's important to have a bit about expected duties and the size of the team, as it is often more of a clear indicator than labeling a position as "entry," "middle," or "senior."

— Ben Gamble, Quincus

4. Describe the Realities of the Role

In order to attract the right applicants, the job description should describe the realities of the job and also the personal benefits of the job. For example: "This is a position for a person who considers himself or herself to be a quick study across a variety of disciplines and consistently delivers quality. This position will also work closely with the founders with all of our sleeves rolled up."

— Arry Yu, GiftStarter.com

5. Showcase the Benefits

Think about what you would find attractive in a business if you were an employee – i.e., what you were looking for when just starting out. What were you looking for in a workplace? What sort of cool benefits would make somewhere an awesome place to be? It's all about considering what your "perfect" candidate would find attractive and delivering that.

— Steven Buchwald, The E2 Visa Lawyer