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How to Write the Perfect Job Description

11 months ago - Mark Ashton

How to Write the Perfect Job Description


Possibly one of the most important places to start from to ensure you get the right candidates is with the job description.  Using an outdated or generic job description can result in CV’s being sent to you that don’t match your expectations, this is a waste of time on all fronts.  It can also deter potential candidates from applying for the job because they deem the job to appear ‘too dull’ or just not interesting enough.

When you are writing a job description, it really is worth putting in some additional effort to ensure that you are representing your business and the opportunity in the best possible way.

Tips for Writing Job Descriptions


Need to Have VS Nice to Have

Understand the difference between a required skill and a preferred skill. If there are completely must-have skills such as technical certifications or a specific knowledge of a niche product or technology, then do list these.  By listing all your ‘nice-to-have’ skills as requirements, you run the risk of putting people off who might be perfect all for the fact they are missing something that can be easily trained or something that can be delegated elsewhere.

Write A Catchy and Compelling Title

It is important to try and get the job seekers attention and hold it.  Put yourself in the mind of the ideal candidate. Something generic just won’t stand out in a crowded market place.  Consider what would appeal to an individual.  Use targeted language such as ‘Are you looking to make a difference working for a rapidly growing business in Cambridge that is developing world-class technologies?’ Use this as your opportunity to really tap into the mindset of the person you most want to be attracted to your business.


Be Concise

According to Loftus, the ideal length for a job spec is between 400-800 words.  Although the job might have many different responsibilities, keep it simple and list the five most important.  If you are listing competencies, then choose the most essential that is required. Bear in mind those things that be learnt quickly or taught in-house by another member of staff.



This might sound basic, but it is nice to break up the text with an image.  It doesn’t need to be a photographic image, simply adding the company logo to the page will help brighten it up.  Always use bullet points where there are more than three items in a list as this helps break a text-heavy document up and makes it easier to read.

Outline the Process

At the end of your job description, make sure you clearly outline the steps the candidate needs to follow in order to apply.  Don’t make this section too long but try to answer some of the more common questions a candidate might have at this point.

  • What dates are interviews being held?
  • Can they expect to get a call or an email from you?
  • If they are unsuccessful will they still hear back?

These would be the most essential tips for writing the perfect job description I can offer.  I have seen this done really well and similarly, not so good.  Taking the time to write a compelling and accurate job description can really pay dividends when it comes to getting CVs from high-quality candidates that are suited to the role and to your business.

At Amazing Prospects, I take a value-add approach to all of my clients and all of the candidates I see.  If you need any help with sourcing candidates in Cambridge, then drop me a line.  I have built up an extensive network over the years and would love to help you find the perfect person to fill your vacancy.