Tips for writing a good job description
A good job description is key to helping you attract quality applicants: The better your job description, the more qualified your applicants will be.
Your job description should be brief while providing enough context for a job seeker to understand the position. An ideal description helps them decide if they are a good fit for the role and also makes them want to apply for it. You’re not only informing the job seeker about the job, you are making them want this particular job and motivating them to apply.
Generally, there are four components of a good job description, and each is described below:
The job description must meet the minimum requirements:
- Be between 30 and 1,000 words.
- Have no major formatting issues, for example, multiple exclamation points at the end of a sentence.
- Not contain words or phrases that discriminate or violate our guidelines. See SimplyHired Job Posting Guidelines.
- Not include any outbound links or email addresses in the job description, as that violates our Terms of Service.
For a list of example job descriptions by job title, see Job Descriptions - Examples by Title.
The summary should be an overview of the role written in a captivating way. Your summary should interest qualified applicants and motivate them to want to apply.
Here are some examples of the type of information to include in the summary:
- A compelling introduction sentence that captures something unique or interesting about this job
- The job title and a simple introduction to what the job is
- The department or team the new employee would join
- Whether this is a part-time or full-time position
- The location of the office and whether this is a remote position
- If applicable, the number of people the person would be managing
- A brief overview about the job, company, or department that can connect to the job seeker on an emotional level, such as opportunities for travel, to interact with interesting people, or to make a difference in their community
- Opportunities for advancement
- Facts about your company that would make the job seeker want to work there, such as its position in your field, key innovations, etc.
SimplyHired requires that you include salary information in your job description. Some job sites omit this information, but we think the better informed the applicants are, the more qualified they will be. In fact, job postings that include salaries receive about twice the number of applications! For more information about salary requirements, see Why do I have to provide salary information for my job postings?
Here are some examples of things to include regarding compensation:
- Vacation, sick time, sabbatical, or other paid time off
- 401k, HSA, or other such accounts
- Stock options
- Education or childcare reimbursement
- Compensation for commuting or relocating
- Sign-on and periodic bonuses
Describe the expectations and duties that your new employee will be responsible for in this job. Emphasize the points that may be unique to your organization. Be complete but concise, providing the information without getting lost in minute details.
Specific information you might include when describing the job responsibilities include:
- The main day-to-day duties for this job
- Overall responsibilities and duties
- Travel or other requirements
Here you will list the previous work experience, education, and skills that you require in an applicant. Consider indicating which qualifications are required versus which are preferred.
Specific information you might include when describing the job qualifications include:
- The number of years of experience with specific types of work
- College degrees
- Professional or industry certifications
- Language proficiency
- Experience with specific skills and software (such as social media, SEO, spreadsheets, desktop publishing, etc.)
- Soft skills and experience, such as ability to negotiate, ability to self-manage, comfort with public speaking, etc.
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