A Short Checklist for Job Descriptions

Nov 4, 2013

Search engines scan job descriptions to identify keywords associated with a particular search. Including relevant keywords or phrases ensures that your job description will appear on the appropriate searches, and enable candidates to narrow jobs by specific criteria in the filters on the left-hand side of the search results page.

A good job description encourages candidates to self-select by making the role attractive enough that qualified candidates apply and the unqualified ones don’t. Include the following components:

  • Company name. If applicable, list the names of both the subsidiary or division and the parent company. Your brand matters.
  • Location(s) of the open role. Include the city and state. If a role can be filled for a number of locations, all locations can be included in a single listing. Also indicate whether telecommuting or relocation is an option.
  • Overview of the position. Explain core responsibilities and provide insight on organizational structure.
  • Candidate requirements. Include relevant years of work, education, or direct line management expectations.
  • Job type. Indicate if the job is full-time, part-time, contract, temporary, or an internship.
  • Compensation. Include range or structure if possible.
  • Employment restrictions. Indicate restrictions such as special qualifications (e.g. Security Clearance) or visa requirements.
  • Directions on how to apply. Include an explicit button or link to apply. Make sure that the link is active and that the candidate is directed to the correct landing page. Specify what materials the candidate should submit, such as a resume, cover letter, and work samples.

These additional details can increase the interest of potential candidates:

  • Company perks. Include perks like free lunches, awards, or anything else that makes it a special place to work.
  • Company information. Include background information on the company, such as its history or location of corporate headquarters.
  • Videos. Videos can convey company culture far better than text. If your company has made this investment, by all means include a link to your video page!

In a perfect world, candidates would find only positions they want and are qualified for, and only qualified candidates would apply to your open jobs. In the meantime, it’s up to both candidates and employers to learn how to best use the technology that connects them, and sometimes that means doing the extra work so the technology can help you find each other.

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