When there is a need within your team- a gap, a necessary skill set that is lacking- how you approach filling the position from the very beginning could make the difference between finding a valuable team member and making a bad hire. No pressure.

While a job description is seemingly simple- just post what your team needs to be successful and wait for the applications to come in… Right?

Wrong. Not only is a well thought out job description needed to entice candidates and encourage them to apply for your company’s open job, but it is also needed to streamline the hiring process and make your chances of finding the right candidate (relatively soon) higher.

Use these tips the next time you find yourself trying to write the perfect job description.

  1. Make the job title clear.

The words “straightforward” and “concise” come to mind when thinking of job titles attached to a job description. Rather than creating some elaborate job title, conform to job title norms. By sticking to a well known job title, you are making the job opening more searchable for qualified candidates. Unfortunately, being overly creative in your job title selection can lead to confusion and result in the most qualified candidates missing the opportunity to work for your company altogether.

  • Make it a quick read.

If you have ever searched for a job online, you know that skimming is the name of the game. Until you find a job that catches your eye and looks promising, you aren’t going to stop to read every detail in depth. As a result, writing several paragraphs on what your team is looking for is not the best way to present information to job seekers. A few sentences to describe your company and what you are looking for, coupled with a bulleted list of the qualifications that are needed to fulfill the position, is all that you need.

  • Make a good first impression.

The job description is often the first impression that a candidate has of you and your company, so you had better make it a good one. You can show professionalism through careful wording, avoiding any grammatical errors, and being clear about what the expectations and requirements of the job are. Candidates will automatically put job descriptions that contain errors or give off an unprofessional vibe in the “not applying for a job with this company” pile.

  • Make candidates excited to apply.

Overall, your mission in writing a job description is to bring in successful, qualified candidates who could potentially join your team. One way to do that is to make them excited to apply for a job with your company. This may seem hard to do in a few sentences, but it is not impossible. Make sure to include a little about your company’s culture, and any fringe benefits that would drive more candidates your way.

  • Make your company’s needs known.

The job description is not the time to shy away from making your company’s needs known. In fact, the job description is the best time to be specific about what is expected of any candidate who applies for the job. It is the first phase of weeding out unqualified candidates, and withholding needed skills and qualifications on the job description will cost you valuable time later on in the hiring process.

  • Make the next step obvious.

Don’t close a job description abruptly. To conclude, let interested candidates know what they need to do in order to be considered for the position. Should they fill out a form online? Who is the contact that they should send their resume to? Make all of the information on what the next step is apparent to avoid any confusion that could result in the right candidate slipping though the cracks.

Knowing what you are looking for in a candidate is half of the battle. Putting that information into a job description is a whole new challenge. Fortunately, these tips will guide you through the process.