6 Tips for Writing Effective Job Descriptions

A stand-out job description should do two things – reflect the duties and responsibilities of the open position and let the readers know why your company would be a great employer. It should also be well-organized and easy to read, especially since we know job seekers are looking for career opportunities from their mobile phones.

To help your job shine amongst a sea of semi-dull descriptions, utilize these six quick tips:

1. Use Candidate-Centric Sentences

First thing’s first – know your audience. Instead of focusing on the organization, shine the light on the candidate. What would be enticing to them? The first sentence of an effective job description should start something like… “Are you a driven [title] searching for an employer that emphasizes work-life balance? Would you love to have stellar benefits package and a set schedule?” Focusing on the candidate first will catch the eye of the job seeker.

2. Emphasize the Perks

What makes your organization unique? Write about benefits and special perks, such as free on-site parking, licensure reimbursement, or if the building is newly renovated. Mention the latest technology or opportunities for career advancement. For example, if you work in an acute care hospital, highlight that the particular department has received upgraded, state-of-the-art imaging equipment.

3. Include Accolades

Did your building recently get recognized in the news? Has it received a highly-sought-after award? Say that! You’ll keep your reader’s attention by mentioning what makes your company different from the rest.

4. List Desired Soft Skills

When writing a job description, it’s natural to think about hard skills first. Of course, you definitely want to hire a nurse who has clinical competencies (these are hard skills) like patient charting and IV insertions. However, don’t forget about listing out the important soft skills required to do the job! For example, soft skills could include possessing empathy, active listening, flexibility, and maintaining professionalism at all times.

5. Keep It Skimmable

Because we live in a scrolling society, it’s important to keep your job description brief. And since most people search for jobs using a cell phone (opposed to a desktop computer), it’s important to keep paragraphs short – no more than three sentences. When you can, utilize bullet points to make your job description easy to read. Consider using bullet points for the Job Duties/Qualifications section of your job posting, as well as the Benefits/Perks section.

6. Use the Correct Title

According to Indeed, 36% of job seekers search by job title. Make sure you stay up to date on any industry changes related to job titles. Think about how a candidate might search for a job, either using a search engine like Google or via a job board like Indeed. For example, if you’re hiring a Nursing Home Administrator, consider using the acronym, NHA, as the job title. And since this title can vary depending on the size and focus of the facility, make sure to include similar titles within the job description itself (particularly in the Job Summary section), like Licensed Nursing Home Administrator (LNHA) or Executive Director.

Bonus Tip

When using abbreviations, acronyms, or internal jargon, be sure to define them the first time you use them in the job description. (Example: Document Management System (DMS). Not everyone reading the position description will be familiar with them.

Next time you have a vacancy in your organization, make sure to follow these tips for writing a more effective job description. Strive to keep your job ad short, sweet, and sprinkled with snippets that your ideal candidate(s) might be searching for.

Looking for more? Check out this Forbes article about writing more effective job ads.


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