Writing effective job descriptions can seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it’s an opportunity to showcase your organization and gain the best candidates possible. To help make your next job description top notch, we’ve put together some key points and considerations for you to keep in mind:

  • Make the Job Easy to Find

Candidates should not have to scour your website for open positions. Make sure you have a clear section for careers and available opportunities, and be sure to keep them updated. When candidates see an “open job” from 2012, it can be confusing and off-putting. On the same note, the application process should be as simple and accessible as possible (e.g., they should not have to create an account on your website to apply).

  • Think About Your End Goal

How would you describe the “perfect candidate”? Think about how they would handle their daily tasks, what skills they would have, and what personality traits would match well with the office culture—then make sure you include these details in your description. Candidates need to be well prepared for an interview, so outlining exactly what you are looking for is the best way to familiarize them with the position and ensure you find the right fit for the job.

  • Show Up in Search Results with SEO

Optimizing your copy so that search engines can locate your job posting is a must-do that many organizations overlook. Include words and phrases in the job title and throughout the description that mirror those used by job seekers in their searches. Use too much internal jargon or vague language in your job titles, and candidates will NOT click on your job.

  • Get Specific About the Work Challenge

The more detail that you include about the actual job, the better. Candidates should come into an interview with an understanding of which skills are needed to complete their day-to-day tasks. This will help them be best prepared and will make your selection process much easier.

  • Show Opportunities for Growth

Most candidates today will look for upward mobility within your organization. Even if you have limited opportunities for promotion, be honest about lateral learning opportunities to develop your employees’ skills. Candidates are more likely to show interest in a job if they are transparent about growth.

  • Include Detail about the Office Culture

Culture is a huge part of happiness and productivity in the office. Identify what personality traits your office has or aims for, and describe it in your job description. Detailing your company’s work ethic, sense of humor and quirks will help candidates understand what they are walking into, and it can help you retain new hires.

  • Incorporate an Action Item

At the end of every job description, clearly explain how to apply for the job. If you require candidates to send their resume and cover letter to a specific person, include an email address, as well as the contact person’s full name. This will make it easier on the candidate and the HR department when preparing and reviewing materials.

  • Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

This last step may seem obvious, but typos and incorrect grammar are very common in job descriptions and can easily turn away desirable candidates. After writing your description, wait a full 24 hours and then take another look at it. Asking multiple people to proofread it can also reduce errors and ensure that your description is ready for posting.


Sam Smith is an Associate Account Executive at JWT INSIDE in Atlanta. As a recent graduate from Georgia College, she has been learning the ins and outs of recruitment advertising, and enjoys the fast-paced and ever-changing world of communications. With experience in public relations, hospitality marketing and account management, she likes to look ahead and focus on the goals of each advertisement.