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How to Write a Good Job Description: Stop copying everyone else!

Posted by Erin Borgerson on July 18, 2013

plagerizing job descriptions

Earlier this month, one of our marketing interns forwarded me an article written on Valleywag, a gossip site dedicated to Silicon Valley, about tech companies that flat out plagiarize job descriptions from one company to another.

When I saw the image of four well-known companies all using the same adjectives and verbs to describe their positions I was shocked! Silicon Valley is home to arguably some of the smartest people in the country, could they not develop a catchy job description? 

As a startup or small business you have no excuse for plagiarizing a job description, not because it's unethical (frankly as a avid writer of job descriptions, I would be flattered if someone plagiarized my work!) but because you know your company better than anyone else and you understand what makes your team tick.

In case you are having major job description writers block, here's 3 awesome pieces of advice to remember when crafting a good job description:

"A job description is your critical first impression when recruiting, and if you lose them before they even apply you’re operating at a steep disadvantage." - Manny Medina in ere.net from What Great Job Postings Have in Common

"Your ability to attract the right people to your organization is heavily dependent on how well you write your job description. Having your title say one thing and having the actual description asking for another is what I call smoke and mirrors." - Janine Truitt in ere.net from The Smoke and Mirrors of Job Descriptions

"Hiring managers need to think about what they cannot live without. Those are the requirements that should be the first bullets of a job spec." - Joyce Bethoney in TLNT from the article, 3 Critical Hiring Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

And one last great quote from Hillary Clinton: "The First Lady role is really difficult. It has no job description... You have to create it for yourself." Amen sister.

Still having trouble creating a good job description? Read our free "Crash Course" guide to crafting excellent job descriptions..

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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.