How to write a job description


How you write your job description will be vital to attracting the right candidates for the job and ensure that you are present among the competition. With this, we have written a guideline of how to sell both your company and your vacancy to potential applicants – if you were reading the job description, what would make you want to apply?

Position Title

The title of the vacancy is one of the most important parts of your vacancy as this is the first thing to capture the candidates attention.

  • Avoid using difficult jargon - Simplicity is the key!
  • Try to provide as much detail about the job within the title, however make sure it reflects the position.

Summary

The summary is the first overview the candidate reads, both on our site and on partner sites such as Indeed (which also publish our vacancies). Within this section, make sure that you detail the main advantages to working at your company and why this job is special / fun / different from others.

Make sure that the summary is unique from the job description – this will help you sell your company and vacancy to the candidates.

Job Description

To write an effective job description, we advise the following;

  • Do not use vague terms or difficult technical terminology.
  • Do describe the daily tasks the candidate will be doing, so that they get an idea of what the job will be like. This will also save you time: you will not have to reject applicants that were expecting a completely different type of job
  • Specify what makes your job unique & exciting amongst the other open vacancies.
  • Keep the details clear by using bullet points to highlight the most benefits as candidates are likely to scan through vacancy descriptions.
  • Explain what you’re looking for in applicants such as age requirements, qualifications, skills, working hours, personality characteristics.
  • Always try include a salary indication.

Information that works well:

  • Mention training opportunities
  • Mention opportunities to grow within the company
  • Mention how this experience contributes to the candidate’s C.V
  • If applicable: mention flexible working hours (very relevant for students)

Bad Example:

We’re looking for sales agents. You will be selling mobile phones to customers, who will call you whenever they have a question. You and your colleagues will then shift the conversation into upgrading their services or buying a new phone.

Good Example:

You’ll work at Apple, known all over the world for their sophisticated phones and computers. Customers will need your help answering a whole range of questions about Apple products or services. You’ll offer them your professional advice and check whether their Apple product is still a good match for them. Do they own an older version of the Iphone? Then you’ll offer them a nice discount on a new one. Your enthusiasm immediately convinces the customer and they’re happy with the offer you made them, while you gained a happy customer and a bonus!

Benefits versus job requirements

Of course the candidate would like to know what’s in it for them. Always make sure to mention what you have to offer, preferably using bullet points.

Example:

Benefits:

  • Very competitive salary (if possible, include numbers)
  • Flexible working hours
  • Two weeks of sales training when you start, fully paid
  • Many opportunities to grow within the company
  • An awesome team and lots of team events / drinks!

Example:

Job Requirements:

  • You’re a native English speaker
  • You’re really good at finding out what a customer really wants
  • You’re available for at least 16 hours a week
  • You live in the area of London

Always try to list more benefits than job requirements, a big list of requirements might scare off some people that would have been a great fit for the job.

Your Target Group

Before you start writing, decide on your target group. Sometimes we read vacancies that try to appeal to everyone, in which case the text ends up being too vague and not appealing to (almost) anyone.

To prevent this, you can create an imaginary person you want to reach via your vacancy text. Imagine this person’s age, studies, skills, interests, experience etc. When you’re writing the text, try to imagine how that person would perceive your text. Will it motivate them to apply? Do you want to reach multiple target groups? In that case we recommend writing multiple vacancies, each one targeted towards one of these groups.

If you require further help on writing your vacancy, please feel free to contact us on info@studentjob.co.uk



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