Writing the perfect job description


A winning job description showcases your role to relevant professionals who have expressed interest in working for you. It also offers job seekers a glimpse into what your business is about and the key objectives that your company/team is working towards.

A helpful job description focuses on the key responsibilities of a role and how the role fits into the wider organisation. Highlighting the nuances of a particular role also help job seekers determine their own fit and ultimately translates into receiving fewer applications that don't match the role. Do I want to take on a newly created position and build up a team from scratch? Do I have the skills to become a senior replacement hire and win over a team of long-standing staff reporting to me?

You write your job description with the understanding that competitors will also seek similar kinds of professional, so treat the job description as an opportunity to sell the role and your company. Focus on what the ideal job seeker is looking for and write the description for them, rather than focussing solely on what you want. Think about:

  • How does your company differentiate from its competitors?
  • Why would somebody enjoy working for your company?
  • What does your role offer that similar roles don’t?
  • What professional development opportunities or exciting technologies can you offer?

Job description essentials:

Job title: ask your consultant if your role title effectively sells the position and is likely to attract the right level of job seeker

Length of employment: is this going to be a permanent or temporary position?

Department: outline how the team fits in with the wider organisation. An organisational chart is a great way to clearly demonstrate this.

Key summary on your company: information on culture, training opportunities and career progression opportunities that may exist for the successful applicant.

Reporting lines: who are the direct reports and any 'dotted line' reports? Who are the key stakeholders for this position?

Specific key responsibilities: describe in detail, what is this person going to be responsible for delivering? How will their day be structured? These should be factual and described in a positive way.

Work experience/background: remember to differentiate what's essential and what's ideal. A long laundry list can be exhausting and unintentionally discourage the job seekers with potential from applying.

Within this framework, you will have to decide the optimal balance between how much information to make available publicly and how much you prefer to communicate to in person, but keep in mind that the fewer details you provide in your job description, the more generic it looks and the less likely job seekers will apply.

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