To attract the right candidates to your job search, and to reduce the amount of time sorting through the wrong ones, the quality of the job description is essential. Job descriptions that are too vague and undefined may attract a flurry of unqualified candidates, and job descriptions that are too narrow and specific may discourage qualified candidates from applying. The job of the recruiter, then, is to strike that happy balance in the job advertisement.

Why Job Descriptions Matter More Than You Think

To understand how to write a strong job description, it helps to have a clear view of how the search engine works from the candidate’s side. On most job websites, the candidate is able to search by job title and/or location. The job title, however, is one of the most important pieces of information.

For example, if the candidate types in “Graphic Designer” because that is the field they are finishing up their studies for and your job is titled “Graphic Designer”, they may apply for the job. This is great if you are looking for an entry level graphic designer. And not so great if you are looking for someone who can walk in to work tomorrow with several years of experience already.

However, be careful not to use codes in the titles that only you and the HR department in your office understand. A Level 2 Graphic Designer may be meaningful terminology to you but may mean nothing on the candidate’s end to help them understand if they are qualified.

So what’s the trick? Put the information in the ad that allows you to decide if a candidate fits the need. If you need them to have a certain amount of experience, make sure it says so. If the job demands a certain amount of travel or offers a certain amount of flexibility, say so. If it is part-time with the potential of becoming full-time, say so. If you only want to read applications from people who have the necessary qualifications, say so.

The ad should give candidates a clear image of the job level and responsibilities, the location of the job, whether it is an on-site or freelance role, and a little flavor of the company style. Consider your opening paragraph to be like a food sample at the grocery store… just a little taste to leave them interested and wanting more.

Interested in learning more about how to attract candidates, schedule a phone consultation with an account executive here.

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