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A Crash Course on Using Job Descriptions Effectively

Posted by Erin Borgerson on March 27, 2013

According to Dave Martin of ERE.net, "the job description is too long." And quite honestly, he's right. 

job descriptionAfter scrolling through a few pages of open positions, the job titles and descriptions begin to blend together. Soon enough, the job seeker loses interest and either moves on with their day or begins submitting his/her resume to every position posted.

So as a hiring manager, you're stuck. That pile of unqualified resumes keeps growing, while the number of qualified candidates remains meager. You've posted the job description to a handful of job boards and still haven't seen any improvement in the candidate pool. What now?

Take another look at that job description

Try thinking of your job description as an advertisement. You want to catch the attention of qualified candidates, and ultimately sell the position to the best one. But using a few generic phrases and creating an over-embellished job title is just not going to cut it. 

You have to make the job description stand out. And no, using the "great benefits" perk won't work. So, how are you supposed to do it?

It's time for an overhaul 

What makes your company different than all the others hiring for similar positions? Why should a candidate want to work for you instead of your competitors?

As Dave Martin puts it, "The aim of “job description 2.0″ should be to engage the candidate...it must be easy to consume and clear to understand. Today the purpose of the job description is a mixture of providing information for the candidate to self filter and selling the company or role."

Think outside the box

Who said job descriptions have to follow a text-only format? Why not give a video job description a shot? This shows the candidate what it's like to work at your company - from the culture to the day-to-day projects, video job descriptions not only catch the eye of job seekers, but it also gives them an idea of what it would be like working for your company.

There's countless ways to make your job description stand out and attract the top candidates - it just takes a little creativity. Give it a shot, we know it'll pay off.

Download 'Job Descriptions 101' for more information on developing strong descriptions. 

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Maggie Coffey is the coffee-loving Marketing Intern for Hireology, a web-based selection management platform that provides customized interviews, job profiling, and one-click background checks to help you hire the right person. Start your free trial at www.Hireology.com today! 

Job Description, Sourcing Candidates, How to Hire


Erin Borgerson

About the Author

Erin is the Director of Marketing, Crisis Controller and Culture Ambassador (the last two titles she gave to herself) who joined the Hireology team in April of 2012. As a certified Inbound Marketer, Erin manages Hireology's marketing department, the Hireology Blog, and media relations. She is also a co-leader of the Chicago Hubspot User Group which brings together Hubspot users from around the Chicagoland area. Erin set off to Chicago after graduating from Western Michigan University. In her spare time she can be found shaking it in a Zumba class, reading a bestseller, or drinking a craft beer on her Wrigleyville porch.