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Writing a job description is a task viewed by many as relatively unimportant but, if done well, can save you and your business time, money and many headaches. Get it right and you could attract your perfect candidate. Get it wrong and could end up wasting your time interviewing candidates who aren’t right for your business.
So, how do you write the perfect job description?
Bad job ads are ones that are vague about key information – such as deadlines the role they’re advertising, or what needs to be sent. Really bad job ads get this information wrong, or leave it out altogether. It’s also important to talk about what the role entails. It’s fine to ask people to email for further details – but give at least some.
Otherwise you’re likely to get overwhelmed with people emailing who aren’t suitable for the job, wasting your own time. If there’s something that’s essential for the job, such as three years’ experience or a driving licence, make sure this is clearly noted.
Try to get the relevant information in as concisely as possible – don’t use jargon or waffle on forever. The pieces of key pieces of information you need to include are:
Make sure the title reflects the role accurately and that the correct level (assistant, senior, etc) is used.
Include a quick run-down of main responsibilities, such as ‘maintain social media networks’ or ‘copywriting for clients and the company’. Don’t worry about a completely exhaustive list – just get the most significant ones in there.
There’s nothing more infuriating as a grad with your hopes pinned on a position to hear that you’re actually under-qualified because they weren’t clear enough about the essential qualifications.
It’s useful to give a salary range, so grads know whether to invest their time in applying. Also state whether it’s full-time, part-time, or an unpaid internship. Don’t be shifty about this – be up front.
Oh, and don’t forget contact information. Sounds like a no-brainer, but make sure there’s at least an email address so interested candidates can get in touch with any questions.
We’ve all seen those adverts:
'AMAZING ROLE NOW AVAILABLE IN TOP LONDON SOCIAL MEDIA AGENCY $$$$ AVAILABLE FROM TOMORROW $$$$ EARN LOADS OF CASH ON YOUR FIRST DAY $$$$$ DON’T MISS OUT!!!!111!'
Even perfectly legitimate adverts can look like scams. Remain professional at all times, don’t use capital letters or gimmicky phrases, don’t make big promises about bonuses and commissions and getting rich quick. Be watchful of spelling mistakes and clumsy copy too.
Even the seemingly driest of professions are held up by people who love what they do – so communicate this enthusiasm. What makes your company great? What exciting things are you doing? What’s the team like?
Don’t go gushingly overboard, but do get the message across that you’re passionate about the industry, and want people who will be too. Try and convey your company’s personality through the language you use.
If your company does offer your staff perks, you might want to slip a few in – it can tip the scales in your favour, and if you’re a small business that doesn’t have the capacity to pay its employees megabucks it can sweeten the sting of a smaller pay range than hoped for.
Some perks could be flexible working, a guaranteed Christmas bonus, company phone, or regular office get-togethers.
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