Surprised Business Partners

The top 5 flaws of job descriptions

Christina Bruce|

Nothing keeps top talent away like a lousy job description. Are you making one of these critical mistakes? Here are the worst offenders we see in job descriptions. Watch out for these blunders and you’ll be on your way to writing a standout job description.

1. Not knowing your audience. An accountant thinks differently than a web designer. Someone looking for a job directly out of school thinks differently than a director-level candidate. People even think differently depending on their geographic location. (People in big cities always care about commute time, for example.) The key to connecting with the candidates you want is tailoring your message specifically for them.

2. No hint of company culture
. A little personality never hurt. Every company has one; try to let that come through in your writing. People don’t just want to know about the job – they want to know what it’s like to work for you. That doesn’t mean a generic ‘about us’ like a client might read on your website. Try to include something about day-to-day work life that might be appealing to those ideal candidates.

3. Details, details, details. I can’t stress this enough – job seekers want to know this stuff. These are the small things that matter a lot. Where is the office located? Is it full-time? What is the reporting structure? How big is the organization? How is success measured? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at a job description and been left with more questions than answers. Answer them all on one page and I’m probably more likely to apply.

4. Using vague and general duties. Be specific about responsibilities of the job, both the day-to-day and the overall. Don’t be shy about including a long list of job duties (Which by the way, should definitely be a list – it’s simply easier to read and absorb). What makes a job in any industry engaging is a variety of responsibilities, projects, and so on. Elaborate.

5. Qualification overkill. So you want a superstar, we get it. But there is an epidemic happening with job descriptions that ask for superman. Including a list of 27 must-have qualifications immediately shrinks your talent pool. And there might just be that one ideal candidate who has most of what you’re looking for, but doesn’t have it all. I always recommend separating the ‘absolute essentials’ from the ‘nice-to-haves’. You might just find that diamond in the rough.

Need more help? Check out these 10 tips for writing a better Job Posting.


Category: Hiring Advice, Small Business,