Job descriptions - Are they costing you applicants?

5 ways your job descriptions could be costing you applicants

The writing of job descriptions for your vacancies doesn’t merely make your candidates more informed – it’s also a vital art to perfect if you are to attract the right people to your position.

When we say ‘right people’, we aren’t necessarily referring only to those with the qualifications and skills that your organisation needs, but to those who will fit well into your firm’s culture, too.

Your job descriptions are a vital part of your recruitment copywriting, and a key frontier for luring the most suitable individuals. But what are some of the mistakes you could be making with them?


They’re too long

Previous research has suggested that between 400 and 800 words is a good sweet spot as far as the length of your job descriptions is concerned.

Remember that your job descriptions need to contain only the necessary information, and nothing else. You aren’t writing a novel, and if the prospective candidate can’t easily skim-read it, they might not be able to maintain enough interest to become an applicant at all.


They’re dull and monotonous

We all want to work for companies that are exciting and dynamic, and it’s only fair to expect the job descriptions that a given firm produces to say something about its culture.

An overly serious and monotonous job description is therefore unlikely to entice a candidate if there is an equivalent opportunity presented by a rival, through a job description that gives the impression of a much more fun and lively place to work.


They don’t hook in the reader immediately

You will lose a lot of potential candidates if the start of your job description doesn’t capture their interest straight away. Like the hook in a great pop song, it can make all of the difference in terms of getting people intrigued who may otherwise casually ignore your job description.

A targeted statement or question can be a good device for achieving this – something like “Do you want to save the world while working for one of the most innovative and fast-growing companies in its field? Step this way…”


They don’t differentiate between what’s needed and what’s merely preferred

Yes, it might be nice if the candidates that you attract possess a certain skill or have spent a particular number of years in your sector, but these characteristics may not be essential. It’s therefore in your interest not to deter perfectly feasible candidates with your job descriptions.

After all, it’s always possible that someone will apply who doesn’t fit every aspect of your pre-conceived ideal, but would nonetheless be quite the asset for your firm. So, make sure it’s the genuinely necessary traits or qualifications that you put the strongest emphasis on.


They aren’t clear about what the candidate should do next

The ‘call to action’ is an invaluable device in marketing communications, and it’s equally essential in your recruitment copywriting. But just as importantly, it needs to be a clear call to action.

Your prospective candidates should be left in no doubt about what they need to do to express an interest in or apply for the vacancy.

If there is a more complicated process involved than simply sending a CV and cover letter, make it obvious in four or five bullet points. The last thing that you will want to do is confuse or overwhelm those who may otherwise be interested in applying.


It can take plenty of effort, practice and skill to craft the most compelling job descriptions. So why not enquire to Webrecruit today about our recruitment copywriting service that could be instrumental in making your job adverts truly sparkle?

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