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How to Write a Job Listing

Published 02/17/2021  •  Updated 02/22/2021
Writing an effective job description.

Crafting a compelling job description is essential for attracting the most qualified candidates. If you're hiring your very first employee, start here: When to Hire Your First Employee.

The key to writing an effective job description is striking the perfect balance between providing enough detail so candidates understand the role and your company while keeping your description concise and clear.

What is a job description?

A job description summarizes the responsibilities, activities, qualifications, and skills for an open position. It should include important company details such as company mission, culture, and an overview of benefits it provides to employees. It may also specify the department of the company, to whom the position reports, and salary range.

An effective job description will provide enough detail for candidates to determine if they're qualified for the position and get a sense of the company culture. Let's break down the sections so you can create a concise yet compelling description.

Job Title

Get specific. Clear job titles are more effective than general ones, so be specific using key phrases that accurately describe the role. Think about how you search on Google —the more detailed your words, the closer you get to the answer you're looking for.

Pro tip: avoid internal lingo that may confuse the job seeker. Stick to standard titles and experience levels and avoid fluffy ones (example "Senior Marketing Manager" rather than "VI Brand Experience Cultivator"). The clearer your need is, the better chance you'll find the right fit.

Job Summary

Start strong. You want to grab attention right away with clear expectations for the position and an overview of your company. What makes your company unique? What makes you a great employer to work for? Your job description is an introduction to your company and helps a candidate determine if you're the right fit for them just as much as you want to find the right fit for your company.

Pro tip: Include an exact job location or clearly state if working remotely is an option. This ties back to thinking in terms of how you Google something (keywords) and helps you optimize your job posting so it appears higher in search results for those it's most applicable to.

Responsibilities

Outline expectations. These would be core responsibilities and day-to-day activities of the position. Emphasize any duties that may be unique to your organization and clearly state the skills needed to perform them. For example, if you're hiring a Social Media Manager role, the position may require photography skills or planning giveaway events. It's important you include these details to ensure candidates understand the requirements and can determine if they're qualified.

Pro tip: Specify how the position fits into the organization. State who the role reports to and how the person will function within your company to help candidates see how the role impacts the business big-picture.

Qualifications

Include hard and soft skills. Qualifications should include key background information (also known as hard skills) such as education, previous job experience, and any technical skills or certifications required. You should also include soft skills like communication, time management, problem-solving, and personality traits that you feel are important for a successful hire.

Pro tip: Keep your list concise. While you may feel listing every requirement for an ideal hire will help narrow down the search, the opposite is actually true. Including too many qualifications is more likely to dissuade potential candidates. A good balance is to identify the must-haves vs nice-to-have skills and qualifications to encourage a more diverse set of applicants.

Benefits

Cover top perks and benefits. Candidates are looking for their best fit or opportunity, so think in terms of "what's in it for them?" Some examples could be medical, dental and vision coverage, flexible work hours, bonuses, paid time off, the list goes on.

Pro tip: Include a salary range. Quality applicants look for opportunities that meet their salary needs which aren't always easy to find. This gives you a great opportunity to stand out from other employers and help attract best-fit candidates.

Job Listing Examples

Now that we've broken down the framework of a job description, let's piece it back together. Here are three fleshed-out examples to help you finalize the process when crafting your own. Happy candidate hunting!

Sample Administrative Manager

Our Administrative Manager position is responsible for the administrative, operational, and financial support of the organization. The duties of this role include long-term strategic planning, overseeing daily operations, managing and delegating tasks to staff, and managing personnel for our team.

Responsibilities

The primary duty of an Administrative Manager is to ensure support functions within the organization are effective and efficient. Some of the day-to-day duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Hiring, training, and managing staff
  • Delegating tasks and monitoring daily operations
  • Acting as a liaison between employees and management
  • Developing and promoting policies for employees
  • Managing staff and workflows
  • Negotiating contracts and agreements with vendors

Qualifications

The skills and qualifications required for an Administrative Manager include:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Experience evaluating, onboarding, training, supervising, and motivating employees
  • Strong communication, leadership, and time management skills
  • Proficiency in relevant software programs
  • Critical thinking, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills
  • Strong analytical, organizational, and multitasking abilities
  • At least two years of experience in an administrative position
  • Extra: Facility Management Professional (FMP) certification or Certified Facility Manager (CFM) certification.

Benefits

This is a full-time position with the following benefits:

  • Medical, dental, and vision
  • 401k with company matching
  • Paid vacation and sick time
  • Option to work remotely
  • Business casual work environment
  • Salary range: $60,000 - $70,000

Sample Analyst

We're looking for a skilled Analyst to handle data operations and report on data interpretation. The duties of this role include working closely with management, who use the reported data to make strategic changes and improvements in the company.

Responsibilities

The primary duty of an Analyst is checking trends and patterns to determine the direction the business needs to take to maximize profits or run efficiently. Some of the day-to-day duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Gathering and analyzing data
  • Interpreting gathered data
  • Submitting reports to the relevant department heads and management
  • Finding patterns and trends in the analyzed data
  • Helping the management and other teams draw business goals and needs
  • Establishing new data gathering and analysis techniques within the organization
  • Formulating procedural manuals for all departments
  • Contribute to designing technical solutions for IT and business systems

Qualifications

The skills and qualifications required for an Analyst include:

  • At least four years' experience as an Analyst in an established organization
  • 5+ years' experience in data mining
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Proficiency in SQL and no-SQL
  • Proficiency in mathematics with the skill to translate complex mathematical information into understandable reports
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Report writing and presentation skills
  • Extra: Professional in Business Analysis (PBA) certification, Agile Analysis Certification (AAC), and Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

Benefits

This is a full-time position with the following benefits:

  • Medical, dental, and vision
  • 401k with company matching
  • Paid vacation and sick time
  • Option to work remotely
  • Quarterly ‘Bring your pet to the office week'
  • Salary range: $70,000 - $80,000
  • Candidates with higher qualifications may qualify for a bonus subject to the company's terms and conditions

Sample Brand Strategist

We are looking for a skilled and solutions-oriented Brand Strategist with a strong analytical mind to craft compelling brand stories and strategies. The duties of this role include conducting extensive research, analyzing findings, making recommendations, presenting to clients, and briefing creatives.

Responsibilities

The primary duty of a Brand Strategist is strategic thinking to uncover consumer insights that inform campaigns, asset creation, and brand storytelling. Some of the day-to-day duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Conducting extensive primary and secondary research
  • Staying up-to-date on consumer research and market trends
  • Analyzing research, data, and trends
  • Creating competitive reviews and situational analyses
  • Identifying insights, challenges, and opportunities
  • Developing brand architecture, positioning, and strategy
  • Writing compelling brand stories
  • Meeting and presenting to clients
  • Briefing and collaborating with creative teams
  • Leading ideation and brainstorming sessions

Qualifications

The skills and qualifications required for a Brand Strategist include:

  • Degree in business, marketing, branding, communication, or related field
  • Previous experience as a brand strategist or similar role
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Experience leading client meetings
  • Analytical and problem-solving mindset
  • Creative and compelling storyteller
  • Strong research skills
  • Strategic thinker
  • Excellent presentation skills

Benefits

This is a full-time position with the following benefits:

  • Medical, dental, and vision
  • 401k with company matching
  • Paid vacation and sick time
  • Option to work remotely
  • Monthly catered team lunches
  • Salary range: $50,000 - $60,000



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