How to Write a Job Description (That Attracts the Candidates You Want)

How to Write a Job Description (That Attracts the Candidates You Want)

The Hawaii job market has become fairly competitive in the last few years. With our unemployment rate at just 4.1%, employers throughout the state are finding it difficult to recruit the candidates they want and need. Many companies are busy pulling out the bells and whistles to try and attract qualified workers – but could it be as simple as taking a little more time to formulate a better job description?

A job description is like an employer’s sales pitch to candidates. You need to make the post descriptive enough to catch the attention of jobseekers and interesting enough to keep it. At the same time, you don’t want just anyone applying for your position, so the post should also work to weed out any unqualified applicants.

Here are four tips to help you create a more effective job description. Take a look and make sure your descriptions are standing out from the crowd and attracting the candidates you really want.

  1. Organize your description
    Your first priority should be making sure that the description is easy to read. Take some time to decide how you will organize your job description. In fact, consider creating a template that you can use as a guide for all your job opportunities. Use short paragraphs and bullet points whenever possible. You should also keep key information at the top of the description. The reader should be able to quickly identify what he/she needs to know in order to land the job.
  1. Be detailed but not long-winded
    Although you should definitely avoid writing a novel, your description should give the reader a very clear idea of what the responsibilities of the positon are, including day-to-day responsibilities. While something like, “The Administrative Assistant will be responsible for overseeing daily front desk activities” may sound nice, it leaves a lot open to the imagination. Be specific about what you’re looking for and what the person will be doing. And don’t be wishy-washy when it comes to required skills. Say exactly what requirements will be necessary, including the level of experience needed.
  1. Know the difference between preferred and required
    Speaking of requirements, make sure you know what skills and experience are VITAL to the position, and which ones would just be nice to have. This little detail could work to deter amazing candidates—especially if your requirements are unrealistic.
  1. Don’t try to be hip
    You may be tempted to spice up your post by adding buzzwords like “rock star” or “ninja” or “guru”, but all that’s going to do is make jobseekers roll their eyes. While these terms may have been a cool addition in the past, by now they’re just clichés that really don’t add anything to your post. Instead, try using keywords that your target audience will be searching for. actually has a Job Trends tool that can help you identify those keywords.
  1. Describe your company culture
    One way to do this is to write your posting the way you would write about your company. For example, if you’re a small start-up your job description might be a little less formal. On the other hand, if you’re a serious law firm, your description would probably feel corporate and polished. Of course, the easiest way to give candidates a glimpse into your company culture is a short description of who you are and what it’s like to work at your company. To top it off, add a photo from your last Christmas party or company event.

Once your job description is written, be sure to run it by a few additional team members to check for grammar or spelling errors. After your standout job description is good to go, jump over to and start posting!

Real Jobs Hawaii is a FREE locally-based online recruitment portal for Hawaii’s employers. It offers all the tools, functionality, and customization capabilities of large corporate online recruiting sites, with one noticeable difference. There’s no cost to you. Click here to sign up!




Posted on July 31, 2015

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