How to write a job description

    Before you begin trying to tackle the job description, you need to settle on the profile of the candidate and the outcomes that you expect the candidate to achieve.

    Once you've got your ideal profile nailed down, it's time to get drafting.


    A job title that encourages clicks

    Your job is competing against thousands of others. Ideal candidates will search for their ideal roles and in some cases, job boards (such as Linkedin) will recommend relevant jobs based on the candidate's experience.

    1.  Don't use alternative job titles if you don't need to. If you call your account managers 'Customer Relationship Advisors', you may want to label the job description as an account manager.
    2.  Add a relevant emoji - There are mixed studies that show the impact of emojis on marketing emails but used with a job title, they provide a visual representation of that job (or company). This naturally attracts curious job seekers
    3.  Don't write too little - Account Manager is accurate but Account Manager at Series A backed startup is more enticing.


    What information should you include in a Job Description?


    1. A little about your company - The candidate is not just applying to do the role, they are applying for the role at your company. This is a great place to sell who you are. Bonus points for linking them to a broader cultural document that provides a little more flavour on what your company is like to work for
    2. Describe the tasks - Help candidates visualize a typical day at work. Don't be vague, be specific.
    3.  What does success look like? - Give the candidates some of the success outcomes that you wrote down when you were planning the role
    4. Outline who the candidate is - State the minimum qualifications, and experience that the successful candidate likely has. Differentiate between must-haves and nice to haves
    5. Salary + benefits - There are numerous pro's and con's around providing a salary and so its really up to you how much or little you provide. It's worth outlining a bonus scheme, share options and other benefits
    6. Training  - Candidates want to learn while they work with you and outlining how you intend on upskilling them is vital for securing those who are hungry for self improvement
    7. Progression - This job is the candidate's first job at your company but it won't be the last! Paint a compelling picture of where the candidate could be in 5 years. 


    Things to avoid in a job description

    1.  Writing in an indirect style ("The candidate will"). It's much better to speak directly ("You will")
    2. Using company/industry jargon - you may confuse or alienate greater talent
    3.  Inaccurate job descriptions - if there is a big difference between the job you are advertising and the actual day to day, you'll end up having an unhappy staff base

    Structuring a job description

    There are numerous ways to structure a job description. Your goal is to stand out and we would recommend trying various approaches to see what works for a particular function or industry. 

    Here is a structure that we use

    • Hook the candidate with an exciting first line that creates interest"Would you like to build the next generation of game engine?"
    • Outline your company's mission and link to any external cultural document. Share the most exciting aspects of your business. Maybe the founding team have past success or maybe you've just raised a big round
    • Outline who you are looking for and the candidate's mission 
    • Be specific about what the role entails and the outcomes
    • Give some information about the type of candidate you'd like to hire


    Frequently asked questions

    What does a good job description look like?

    A job description summarizes the responsibilities, activities, and qualifications needed to perform specific tasks. For employees or prospective candidates to be able to understand what they are getting into before accepting employment with your company, you must provide them with as much information as possible, including any benefits offered by their new employer.

    How do I make my job description stand out?

    The perfect job descriptions are not challenging to write, but they do have some secrets that you need to know in order for your viewers or readership base to get excited about them. The first thing employers should do at the start of any written material is grab the reader’s attention to keep them on track. Then, include all necessary information without being too long.

    How long should a job description be?

    Job descriptions that are too long or lack substance will not be read. For your perfect candidate to take notice, make sure the job post has between 300-660 total words so they can get a good idea of what to expect from your company.