6 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Writing a Job Description

Stressed over the hiring process?

You may be getting a lot of applications, but none seem to fit the bill.

If you are looking to attract the best talent, you will need to invest time in writing a compelling job advertisement.

Often, a lot of recruitment agencies don’t pay close attention to writing their job descriptions, resulting in a wrong candidate pool with unrealistic expectations.  

Your job description is your client company’s ad. It should help qualify your target candidate and be appealing enough to make them apply.

Here are 6 common mistakes we see in job descriptions that you should avoid and some tips on how you can make your recruitment more effective.

1. Copy/ paste Job Descriptions

You may be looking around to get some inspiration on crafting your job description, but one of the gravest mistakes any recruiters can make is plagiarising from another company.

Beyond the moral issue of plagiarism, copying another company’s job posting word-for-word can negatively impact your client’s brand.

More importantly, it can jeopardize your chances of finding the right candidate for your role as duties listed on a job ad can vary from company to company.

Besides, the best job descriptions need to reflect your client company’s culture and needs if you want to stand out to potential candidates.

However, we aren’t saying you can’t refer to another company’s job ad or a template. It’s a great place to start, but you should always customize and craft a unique job description to accurately describe your hiring role.

Access here: 50+ ready-to-use job description templates.

It’s essential to constantly update your ad and find better ways to appeal and connect with ideal employees.

Job positions and responsibilities evolve with passing time. Reusing the same job ad year after year will only attract the same pool of candidates.

2. Not Selling the Job and Your Client Company

job description

While you are crafting the character sketch for your model employee, remember that your job description also represents the first impression of your client company.

As much as you are looking for the ideal candidate, job seekers are also assessing your job description to see if you are the perfect recruiter.

Candidates need to know that they are leaving their job for a better one. Tell potential candidates why they should become a part of your team.

Highlight your client’s organizational culture and values, as well as short and long-term employee benefits to convince them why they should work with you.

Remember, you are selling them too. Showing potential candidates why you are the best employer around will attract more applicants to your job posting.

3. Vague Job Descriptions

A good job description needs to be precise.

It should communicate a general overview of the expected responsibilities for the job role.  

This starts with the job title, as it plays a vital role in determining if a potential candidate will continue reading the rest of the description.

So avoid using confusing titles like “content creator”, as it can mean anything from writing blog posts to creating YouTube videos, which essentially requires different skill sets.

Be descriptive about what the job entails. Include a point checklist to organize the priorities of the role, essential obligations, and baseline requirements to qualify as a potential candidate.    

Upon reading it, candidates should be able to fully understand the main objective of the job and imagine what their day-to-day duties are.

You can also guide your candidate’s resume writing and let them know what information you are looking for in your job description.

Additionally, we recommend that companies list their salary range as it provides transparency and can help both the company and candidates when it comes to negotiating wages.

4. Hard to Understand Jargons

job descriptions

This may come as a surprise, but the average time job-seekers scan a job ad and decide if they want to apply is about 49.7 seconds.

Your job description needs to communicate fast and allow candidates to grasp what the job entails quickly.

A study analyzing 6.3 million job adverts across multiple countries and industries found that 38% of job descriptions contain confusing jargon.

You are no stranger to them as these are standard business buzzwords like “ninja”, self-starter”, or “team player”, which can be unnecessary. Or even technical acronyms like “KPI” or “SLAs”.

There’s no real-world benefit to using them, but these terms can be alienating.

It can potentially turn off candidates who are just entering the job market or highly qualified talent that could excel in the role but do not self-identify with these terms.

Hence, the best way to write your job description is to use accessible language. For example, if you want to hire a software developer, state just that and avoid titles like code ninja.

While we understand the desire to rebrand traditional job titles and descriptions to make them exciting, using inclusive and easy-to-understand words in your job advert can go a long way in recruiting the right talent.

5. Excluding the Team from the Process

Another mistake that recruiters can make is not including your client’s team in your job hiring process. Because if there’s anyone who knows the job best, it would be their team.

Besides, involving the current team will help fine-tune the description and determine the skills necessary to perform well.

Knowing your team’s needs and the type of candidate that will be a cultural fit is also crucial to improving employee retention and boosting teamwork.

So, sit down with the team to map out the job responsibilities, qualities, and experiences they are looking for in the ideal candidate. Encourage your team to be actively involved in refining the job description.

job descriptions

Your job post and description represent your organization. So once it is completed, it is only wise to review your job description to see if it is accurate.

We recommend running it by the content and legal team to see if there are an
y mistakes or biased languages in your job ad.

Wrong terminologies or gender-biased language can be subtle, so it is best to review your job advert by professionals to make sure everything is good before posting.

In Final Words

Ultimately, writing job descriptions does not have to be complicated.

Keep it straightforward and avoid these common mistakes to position your company as a great workplace and appeal to suitable candidates.

Read more: Recruiters must avoid these hiring mistakes at all costs.

Written by–

Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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