April 7, 2020

This is what a job description should look like

Yesterday, I got a message on LinkedIn with a job offer. I'm not looking for a new job at the moment, but my natural curiosity doesn't let me ignore recruiters. So I asked for the details, and the next day they were in my inbox.

You can't imagine my frustration. After reading the full page of text, I don't have a single reason to get interested. Most of it looks like it was copied and pasted or generated automatically. A set of buzzwords about test management, QA processes, and a competitive salary. Why would anyone want to join this company?

Think of how many true talent they lose because of a poorly written job description. I received three messages like this last week. None of them had even a hint of sparkle. While these recruiters are scaring candidates off, others compose strong and compelling copies to advertise the same position.

Just imagine that you need to sell a laptop and here's your ad: 

"It's a machine with display and keyboard. It allows you to browse web pages, send emails, listen to music, and watch movies. It's reliable and will serve you well." 

Would someone buy from you if your competitor comes up with an ad like this?

"The incredibly thin and light MacBook Air is now more powerful than ever. It features a brilliant Retina display, new Magic Keyboard, Touch ID, processors with up to twice the performance, faster graphics, and double the storage capacity. The sleek wedge-shaped design is created from 100 percent recycled aluminum, making it the greenest Mac ever. And with all-day battery life, our most popular Mac is your perfectly portable, do-it-all notebook."

Feel the difference, and pick a text that has more similarities with what you show to your candidates. If the second one - perfect, this is what a job description should look like. If the first, how are you supposed to hire talented folks when your job offers scream mediocrity? You'd have to settle for those who don't care about your company to the same extent you don't care about your recruitment effort.

But it's easy to fix. As a recruiter, you don't know if the job is good enough because it's up to candidate to decide. Your mission is to make the position exciting and wanted. That's all. Now keep in mind the MacBook ad copy and try to put together a job description that resembles it.

Other posts

Remote work: is it for everyone?

I recognize remote work as a sign of freedom, flexibility, and mutual trust that should fit everyone. I've read several articles that imply this isn't so. Let's look at this claim closer.

Is the job you're applying to still relevant?

Finding out that you've applied to a position that is no longer relevant is frustrating. Many websites pay this issue no attention and are built in a way that makes job search extremely inefficient.