5 Ways to Optimize Your Job Descriptions + Over 600 Job Description Templates
A strong job description provides candidates with an overview of the position, its responsibilities, and the qualifications and experience you’re looking for in the best person for the role. A description that lacks any of these elements will leave job seekers with a lot of questions, which could turn off potential candidates that could be a good fit or burden your HR team with excessive inquiries about basic job information.
Here’s a list of job description templates for over 600 common roles that you can use to get started.
Optimizing Your Job Description Template
1. Optimize Your Job Descriptions for SEO and CTA
When developing titles for your open positions, make each post findable and trackable by choosing descriptive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keywords. Anything you can do to make your job title more specific — such as calling out specific programming languages for a software engineering role — will help the right person find your listing.
Aim to keep those keywords or phrases between 50-60 characters. This will maximize your job title performance with an average click-to-apply (CTA) ratio 30-40% higher than titles of other lengths. And for job description length, aim for between 2,000 to 10,000 characters, the range that’s been shown to deliver an average CTA up to five times higher than shorter or longer ones.1
2. But Write for People, Not Computers
SEO and CTA optimization will help you maximize the reach of your job description, but it takes more than distribution to make a job attractive to a qualified candidate — you must also make sure your job description reads as a clear and concise piece of writing.
Review your first draft and ask yourself whether or not this is a job you could see yourself getting excited about if you were in a prospective candidate’s shoes. Make it clear what impact the role will have on the company and what past employees have found exciting about the work. Highlight example projects or clients, as well as the benefits and perks that come with the job.
3. Prioritize Your Must-Have Skills and Experience
From a hiring committee’s perspective, it’s natural to start with a list of ideal experience and qualifications you’d like to see in the role you’re hiring for. But this can lead you to develop job descriptions that are too aspirational. That is, very few people will fit the profile perfectly. And when research shows women are unlikely to apply for a position unless they meet 100% of the requirements, while men will apply if they meet 60% of the requirements, 2 you may find those aspirational job descriptions unintentionally invite gender bias into your recruiting process.
To create a job description that opens the door for any truly qualified person who can do the job — not just the perfect candidate you have in mind — spend some time prioritizing must-have skills over nice-to-have skills. Include both in your job description to give candidates as much information as possible about what you’re looking for, but make it as clear as possible which qualifications are truly required verses which might indicate good candidate alignment with the role.
4. Put it All Out There
Remember: When you’re interviewing a candidate, you’re not just trying to figure out if they’re the right person for your company. You also want to verify that your company is the right place for them. If your company isn’t the sort of place where a candidate can thrive, they’re much more likely to underperform or quit.
5. Invest in Promoting Your Jobs
Once you’ve developed a job description that captures these important details about your company and the role you’re hiring for, don’t forget to promote it. After all, the perfect job description won’t attract the perfect candidate if they never see it. And putting the role in front of people outside of your professional network can you break through barriers and get your hard-to-fill role in front of a more diverse group of people.
One of the best ways to circulate your open roles is on Glassdoor, which allows you to tap into the tens of millions of job seekers who visit the site every month. Glassdoor also helps you capture more engagement — sponsored jobs on Glassdoor have been shown to receive up to 12X more clicks and 9X more apply starts than non-sponsored jobs. 3 And you’ll have access to the analytics capabilities that come with Glassdoor’s powerful dashboard to see who is interacting with your jobs and how you can tweak your listings to increase engagement.
The job descriptions of years past won’t attract the talent of tomorrow. And that’s why it’s so important to review your hiring materials, learn from these templates and tips, and develop new job descriptions that capture the imagination — and the application — of today’s career conscious candidates.
- Source: ERE Recruiting Intelligence, “Long Job Descriptions and Titles Can Hurt You. And So Can Short Ones.” https://www.ere.net/long-job-descriptions-and-titles-can-hurtyou-and-so-can-short-ones/
- Source: Harvard Business Review, Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified, August 2014
- Source: Glassdoor Internal Data, January-June 2018. *Based on an analysis using data from Jan-June 2018 to compare Non-Sponsored Jobs before partnering with Glassdoor versus Sponsored Jobs after partnering with Glassdoor on a per job per day basis across all devices.