How to Write a Job Description That Works

Roles and responsibilities with wooden pen

Searching for the ideal employee consists of creating an engaging and appealing job description. With the many job postings already in the pipeline online, you want to be sure your listing gets the attention it deserves from qualified candidates. Your goal is to fill the position with the best person, not just any person.

With the proper guidance, your job description listing can stand out in a crowded field of other listings and get the attention of the right candidate.

An effective job description will include all the relevant details about the job and more. It is concise yet thorough enough to provide the necessary information for a wise decision. When the candidate is finished reading it, they can make an informed decision.

What Is a Job Description?

A job description summarizes the required tasks and responsibilities of the position, as well as the skills, experience, and qualifications necessary to fulfill the role. It also contains important information about the company, its hierarchy, and the salary range. This information could include the company’s vision or culture if it’s relevant to performing the job. In addition, company benefits will engage candidates if they are worth it.

A carefully written job description is a vital part of finding the best candidate for the job. Job seekers use it to determine whether they would be a good fit for the job.

Components of a Job Description

A job description template outlines its many components. You can use this template as a guide in preparing your job description.

Job Title

The first thing the job candidate will see is the job title. This needs to be clear and straightforward. You want to ensure that the title description is specific and easy to understand. You can use keywords or phrases that pertain to the job title so that the person looking for the job will be able to quickly understand what the position entails. Remember, the candidate will likely be scanning through several job descriptions at a time. So, if the job title is clear, the person will know what is involved.

Avoid using abbreviated terms or lingo because not everyone will be familiar with these.

Introductory Paragraph Summarizing the Company

Begin your opening paragraph with an overview of the company. Use action words or powerful adjectives to paint a picture of what the company brand image is. This section should be brief, only a few sentences or one paragraph. It can let the person know what is unique about the company, provide information about the company’s mission, or establish the company culture.

Duties and Responsibilities

Clearly define the job duties and responsibilities of the job position. You can break this down so that the candidate will know if they are qualified and interested in the job. Be sure to include the following in your job description under duties and responsibilities:

  • Summarize the main responsibilities that typically come with that particular job. List the specific duties involved with doing that role. Also, be sure to include any tasks that are generally outside the scope of the job but may be unique to your company. For example, if you are hiring an office receptionist and the position requires writing the meeting minutes, you would want to include writing proficiency. This allows the candidate to assess whether they have the skills necessary to do the job.
  • Next, describe the everyday activities that the position entails. By providing this information, the person can determine what a typical day is like. It also gives the person an idea about the workplace environment.
  • You can also include how the job position fits into the hierarchy of the business. For example, you can describe who the candidate reports to and how the department will interface with other departments within the organization. This provides candidates with an overview of the company structure and how the job position fits into the whole picture.

Qualifications and Skills

This section will list the qualifications and skills necessary to do this position. Include both technical and soft skills in this section. Soft skills may include things like:

  • Dependability
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership ability
  • Teamwork
  • Time management skills
  • Organized

Also, be sure to include any specific certifications or training if you require them. You can list qualifications and certification requirements in a bulleted format.

Salary and Benefits

Candidates are always interested in seeing the salary amount, especially if it’s competitive. If the salary is dependent on the candidate’s experience or qualifications, you can list the salary range instead of an exact amount. Also, provide information about the benefits since these can provide an added boost to the salary package.

Formatting Tips for a Job Description

Follow these formatting tips when creating the job description:

  • Use bold headings for each section of the job description.
  • Skip to the next line after the heading for each summary.
  • Use easy-to-read plain text for the summaries beneath the headings. Text can be in Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri in 11– or 12-point font.
  • Add an extra line between each of the sections.
  • Use bullet points in the duties and responsibilities and qualifications and skills sections.

Here is a formatted template example:

Job Title

Text in normal font.

[Skip a line]

Introductory Paragraph Summarizing the Company

Text in normal font.

[Skip a line]

Duties and Responsibilities

Text in normal font.

[Skip a line]

Qualifications and Skills

Text in normal font.

[Skip a line]

Salary and Benefits

Text in normal font.

Implement these tips and use the formatting template, and you’ll be well on your way to writing your next job listing. Following this guide can help you attract candidates who are a good fit for the job.

XML Job Post Management. As Easy As ABC?

Image showing person at a computer looking at an job application page.

“Synchronize watches and move out!”

We’ve all heard that line, or something like it, in a movie. XML job post management doesn’t usually require groups of anxiously determined people, bent over their watches, before scooting determinedly off in different directions.

But the job management stakes are high for millions, including you.

Whether you love or hate action movies, your career is about action and results. You are tasked with making things happen in a world where the stakes are high and the plot thickens with every technological twist.

It should be classified as sci-fi, but it’s real.

Your plot saw a huge twist with the advent of the internet. Suddenly it was easy to get job posts out there; and just as easy for enthusiastic amateurs to apply for any job — as easy as ABC, in fact — on the off-chance they might get a result. Making management tough.

Then came the downturn.

Targeting your jobs at the qualified experts you want to fill your candidate pool is key. Avoiding the enthusiastic amateurs who use technology to their career advantage is more important now than it ever was.

So what’s the solution? Technology!


XML (eXtensible Markup Language), is designed to turn the ABC ease of online job applications in your favor. By enabling you to manage your job posts in a fast and efficient manner, you can target talent and control results with synchronized efficiency.

But it’s still about how the hero of the movie goes about it.

Advances in technology turned the phrase Post-and-Pray into Spray-and-Pray. XML job post management does offer huge advantages in terms of high quality distribution across the net.

An XML job feed connects your jobs to job aggregators and optimizes the process for formatting, consistency, and so on. Online search optimization is also easy enough and covers various areas:

  • Use keyword sensitive job titles
  • Maximize keyword density
  • Mention the nearest metro area in location
  • Allow aggregators to pull from your careers page

It all helps to get you out there, like the ATS solution helps you process the results.

So the secret sauce lies in fine targeting.

Ladders’ XML Job Feed

Let’s give Ladders a part in this movie.

As a company dedicated to $100K-$500K+ professionals, with an average of 15+ years of experience, a bachelor’s degree pool that stands at 89% and a Master’s degree pool that stands at 36% across industries, we answer specific needs by design.

With an XML job post management feed, each time a new $100K+ job is added to your system, it’ll be automatically added to Ladders, too, for flawless targeting of high-end candidates. And when it closes, the post will be automatically removed.

Automated targeting combined with flawless synchronization.

If interested, you can learn about our XML feed guide. After your development team has created the feed, you can submit it to us at the address provided and you’re good.

Staying up with the times doesn’t get you ahead. Smart choices based on specific needs still spells success. That will never change.

So what’s the next evolution of the phrases Post-and-Pray and Spray-and-Pray?

Automate-and-Celebrate? Get-Wise-and-Synchronise? 

Aim-and-Hit? (Recommended)

In the movies, the hero makes the call, so we’ll leave it with you.