How to create a job description

When people type “how to create a job description” into Google, what many of them really mean is “how to create a job advert”.

If you’re one of these people, this article is for you.

However, if you are actually looking for help on how to put together a job description, these links might help:

The very fact that so many people conflate a job description with a job advert is the primary reason why so many job postings fail to attract the right candidates. That’s because it is unrealistic to expect a job description to perform like a job advert.

A job description is an internal document that acts as a kind of inventory of what that job is responsible for, who it reports to, who it interacts with (externally and internally), the tasks/responsibilities, the required skills/experience and the remuneration.

If a job vacancy were a can of coke, the job description would be the list of ingredients.

If you post a job description and expect it to behave like a job advert, it will fail regularly. It will fail regularly because it is totally dependent on being seen by someone with all the right attributes and who also happens to be unemployed and/or desperate for another job.

The reality is that people who don’t need another job don’t want to read job descriptions when visiting a job board or LinkedIn. They don’t read them when they’re sent via email either. And why would they?

A job description is a document that is driven by the functional and legal requirements of the company. It isn’t driven by the need to be easy or enjoyable to read.

The only time anyone reads a job description is after they’ve made the decision that it’s a job they’re interested in doing. For many candidates, that means they’ll probably need to have the job sold to them in some way – either via a phone conversation, an email, a social media post or a job advert – before they have sufficient motivation to carefully read a long, detailed description of the job.

To find out more about creating great job adverts, click here.

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