How to write a successful job description

Writing a captivating job description is a vital part of finding the right candidate for your job. With a plethora of jobs being advertised daily across the UK, you need to make sure that your job description stands out from the crowd. 

The key to a successful job description is having a clear and neat structure with different sections because it presents your company in a professional light. It is important to have a good mix of information for the candidate to understand the role and your business whilst also keeping the description short and easy to digest. Using the template demonstrated in this article and following these do’s and don’ts will ensure that your job description is compelling and enticing. 

 


Job Summary 


The opening section is the most important part of the job description because it features all the important details that the candidate will want to know before even considering the role. Information such as the role, location, salary, contract details, potential start date, and shift patterns should all feature in the job summary.  
The opening details should be finished off with a brief paragraph that describes what your company does in only 2-3 sentences. This allows the candidate to have an idea of what they will be doing on a day-to-day basis. You should include information such as who the candidate will be working with and what the candidate will gain from the job. 


Do’s  
  • Create a clear job title that accurately reflects the job role. 
  • Present the information in a list format which allows it to be easily read. 
  • Include information such as the title, location, salary, contract details and shift patterns. 
  • Write a short paragraph describing how your company operates. 

Don’ts 
  • Create an unclear job title that could potentially attract a wrong type of candidate. 
  • Present the key information in a paragraph format as it is very unnecessary. 
  • Write a long paragraph about your company. The candidate should do some research before applying for a job.

 
Responsibilities and Duties 


The next part of the job description focuses on what the duties and responsibilities associated with the role are. You should start this section with a question or statement in bold writing such as ‘What we need from you’ or ‘Job duties’ because it makes the description look clear and separates the different parts of the job advert nicely. You should layout this section using a list or bullet points as it makes the text easier to read and understand. 
It is essential that you describe each task into a short and precise duty rather than a vague description, as the candidate will be using this section to visualise what they will be doing daily. Descriptions of duties should include an action, an object, a purpose, and an outcome (for example, ‘Monitor current workload and the movement of material through the production process’). 


Do’s  
  • Start this section with a question or statement in bold to separate each section with keeping a professional look to the description. 
  • Use bullet points or a list because it makes the text easier to read and understand. 
  • Only outline the core duties and responsibilities as they are the most important tasks that the candidate will be doing the most. 
  • Include an action, an object, a purpose, and an outcome for each task description. 

Don’ts 
  • Write a lengthy description of each task. Too complicated job descriptions cause interest drop. 
  • Include every single duty for the job role because it will take too long to go through and is unnecessary. You should aim to list around fifteen duties or less. 
  • Arrange the information in a paragraph format as it is very unnecessary to go into heavy detail. Remember that more than 65% people are visualists. 

 
Skills and Traits 


Here is where you name the skills that the candidate should already have obtained from past jobs or qualifications. These skills can range from simple, soft skills such as ‘be able to work in a team’ or ‘work in a safe manner’, personality traits such as being ‘enthusiastic to learn new skills’ and hard skills. Hard skills are more technical skills that have been gained through education, past jobs, or specific training, an example of a hard skill is the ability to operate a machine or to have inventory tracking experience. 
You should try to write a concise list of ten to fifteen skills. Listing too many will result with the candidate losing interest over them. You should also order the skills by the level of importance so the job specific skills should be at the top and the softer skills should be lower down.   


Do’s  
  • Write good mixture of hard skills and soft skills. It is important to include both types of them. 
  • Write a concise list of ten to fifteen skills. Don’t make it too long for a candidate to read. 
  • Write straight to the point as the candidate should know what the skill means without an enlarged description. 
  • Use bullet points as it makes the list easy to go through and understand. 

Don’ts 
  • Do not be unrealistic with some of the skills. Your job description should not look be an impossible wish list of every useful skill for the job. 
  • Write a long description for each skill as the candidate should understand the point with just a short sentence or a few words. 
  • Write generic points that are not fully needed, focus on the skills that are the most important ones for the role. 

 
Benefits 


This is the section where you write about the benefits and perks that the candidate will gain from getting the job and working for your company. You need to “talk” directly to the candidate when writing this whole section so starting each point with the word ‘you’ll’ is a great way to get the candidate’s attention. This section will encourage more people to apply for the job when showing what they can gain from the role. There are two different types of benefits and you should split them up into two parts. 
Start by writing what the employee will gain when working on the job. These benefits include what type of support they will get, what they will learn and achieve, and many more development skills that can be used later in life. You do not need to write every benefit you can think of but mentioning few is always a good start. 
The next part is about benefits offered by your company as part of the package. These benefits include the number of holidays, pension schemes, medical cover, any type of discounts, flexible working hours, training and development and so on. Remember that most people look for the job security for a longer term. Mentioning a career plan will confirm the job stability and attract more candidates. This part of the job description can be either written in a bullet pointed list or in a few short sentences, depending on benefits quantity. 


Do’s  
  • It is essential to use direct approach to the candidate.  
  • Select around five to ten benefits.  
  • Include as many useful and helpful perks. 
  • Use bullet points to present the information. 

Don’ts 
  • Write a huge list of all the possible benefits that you can think of 
  • Miss out any of the key perks or benefits that your company offers to its employees as that is some of the most important details that the candidate will be looking for. 
     

What to do next 


The final part of the job description is where you can explain what are the next steps of the recruitment process. It is important to write a short, snappy sentence asking if the candidate matches all the requirements for the role and then follow it by telling them how they can apply. You should talk directly to the candidate in this paragraph and give some contact details for candidates to contact if they have any further questions or are having a problem applying for the role. Some job boards might not allow for listing contact details however, job seekers can apply directly through them.  
You should also write a short paragraph about the recruiting process and if there is a rough estimated waiting process whether it is a few days or a couple weeks. We suggest to also include a paragraph concerning some of the company’s policies, for example, equal opportunities and discrimination in the workplace. This will ensure candidates that they are going into a positive and fair workplace. 


Do’s  
  • Keep it to the point. Use paragraphs. 
  • Be very clear with how the recruiting process works, so the candidate knows what to expect and how long they could be waiting for your answer. 
  • Talk about your company’s policies. 
  • Include some contact details if possible. 

Don’ts 
  • Write the information in a list or one large paragraph as you want to give as much information as you can, but you should split it up into separate parts, so it is easily digestible. 
  • Do not give an unrealistic waiting time as candidates will give up on the role if they have not heard anything after the date written on your job description. 
  • Miss out any information about being fair or concerning your company’s policies. 

 

 

Conclusion 


A good job description is a lot more than just a list of duties and responsibilities, it gives the candidate a clear overview of the company, tasks, benefits, and the recruitment process. The job market is rapidly changing due to pandemic and now, it is more important than ever to make the job description attractive for the right talent. Using this template and following the do’s and don’ts will improve your current job descriptions and help to attract the perfect candidate for your company. 
However, if writing job description is not for you, do not worry. At Accept Recruitment, we use this template to create professional and successful job descriptions for our clients to attract the perfect candidates for their jobs. So, if you would prefer to use a specialist writer, you can contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 0116 218 2133. 
 
 
 

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