Creating an Effective Job Description

Last week, we touched upon how candidates can craft an effective resume, so this week we decided to explore the other side and delve into how employers can create an effective job description.

For an organization to effectively grow, it must bring in new employees to meet the needs of the company. While recruiters, such as ourselves at Pascoe Workforce, love finding employees for companies in need, the first step is to determine specifics of the role needing to be filled. Generally, this is done via a job description that explores the requirements of the role, the job duties, as well as the qualifications the employee should have to be considered for the role.

In order to find and recruit the best individual for your open position, it’s imperative to create as accurate of a job description as possible. Here are some tips for crafting an effective job description.

Include Relevant Information

It would be remiss to write a job description and leave out imperative information. Is the position supervisory? Does it require an advanced degree? Which department(s) will the individual be working with? While this may be obvious to you, as the department head or Human Resources representative, it is not obvious to a job seeker.

Before writing the job description, create a list of everything you can think of that the position entails, and what qualities you would like the candidates to have. Unless you have an “emergency” opening, try to spend some time on the job description, going back to it after night’s rest or two, as you’ll be less likely to forget information. From that list, determine what the most important points are and list them first, to make sure that the most imperative information is included in the job description.

Be Precise and Concise

By including all relevant information, you could end up with a very long job description that looks more like an essay than a job description. Be concise when crafting the actual job description – utilize bullet points or otherwise create a list that clearly states exactly what you mean to say.

Consider the following statements:

  1. Seeking an individual with strong typing skills who holds the ability to utilize various computer software.
  2. Candidates should be able to type 50+WPM and have strong Microsoft Office and SAP skills.

Which one of these seems more effective and is more likely to attract the proper, qualified, candidates for the position? While example 1. would attract more candidates, creating job descriptions is generally about quality over quantity.

Avoid Slang and Buzzwords

typing-1242393-639x424As a professional, you want your job description to appear as such? Chances are, the answer to that question is yes. Utilizing slang words such as “rockstar” or “guru” in a job description does not attract better candidates and can leave the wrong impression on many – especially if you’re not a creative firm.

Keep an excessive use of buzzwords out of job descriptions as well. Even if you’re trying to drive up the SEO of your job posting, including information that isn’t pertinent to the job will just confuse and turn off potential candidates. Terms such as “well organized”, “team player” and “multi-tasker” are overused and will not help you find a competent person in a specialized field such as IT, finance or engineering.

Utilize Sections

Job seekers are busy. As much as we’d love to think every single person out there only wants to work for our company, it’s clear in a candidate-driven market that job seekers have options. You don’t want to confuse a job seeker by having an unclear job description.

Lay out job descriptions by sections. Consider writing an introductory sentence or two detailing a bit about your company and/or the work culture at your company. Then create a section for the position itself – what job you are seeking to fill. In this section, detail the general and day to day responsibilities of the job, who the position reports to, and if there are any supervisory duties required. Finally, create a section for qualifications of applicants including experience, education and skills desired.

By separating your job posting into multiple sections, with bullet points, you’re making the posting streamlined and easy for candidates to read and determine if they are a good fit.

Visit the Pascoe Workforce Job Board for some examples of job postings.

Bonus Tip

Depending on your application platform, try to integrate the possibility of LinkedIn applications. While you may have an excellent job description, if the job application is too long or complex, you will likely lose many qualified candidates. Alternatively, you can always send the job description over to us at Pascoe Workforce, and we’ll do all the recruiting work for you!


Crafting an effective job description can be tough at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize that it saves you time in the hiring process as you won’t need to sift through resumes of applicants who aren’t truly a good match for the position. While it’s great to have a general applicant pool, for specific positions, it’s imperative to lay out what you’re seeking in an employee clearly to attract the best applicants to the position.