While the content itself is different, most job descriptions look the same: crappy.

This is because the process goes like this: HR gives recruiters internal job descriptions. Recruiters then either manually copy and paste the description onto job boards, or they simply click a button on the ATS system and blast them to the major job boards.

And then they wait. And over time, recruiters start to wonder why they’re getting crap responses. Simple: If you post crap, you get crap.

There’s a solution to this problem, though, and it starts with extra effort on behalf of recruiters.

The Problem with Job Descriptions

When recruiters copy and paste an internal job description, it’s as if they fail to realize that it’s an internal document. In reality, job descriptions are, in essence, a sales/marketing tool. But they definitely aren’t treated that way. It’s not crafted in a way that ignites a spark in a candidate. It’s dry, and it’s written to describe what a company needs. The motivation behind it is to serve the organization—not the candidate.

Recruiters need to invest a little more time in tweaking the descriptions. Granted, they might not know how, or have the time, since we all know recruiters don’t have a lot of time as it is, but simple changes can make or break the type of candidates they attract.

The Solution to Bad Job Descriptions

Like any other marketing initiative, the audience knows the campaign is self-serving, but people want to feel like they can contribute to the organization behind the initiative. The same concept can be applied to job descriptions.

Job descriptions need to explain what the role will do for candidates. They should motivate candidates to want to work with and for the organization to contribute to its bottom line. An exhaustive list of responsibilities just won’t cut it. What should candidates expect in the first 3-6 months? What core competencies beat out the rest? Pair responsibilities with expectations.

If we’re going to continue to use job boards and post open positions on LinkedIn, we have to post powerful and compelling descriptions that end with a call to action. Ending a job post with “upload your resume” couldn’t be any more impersonal and transactional.

Something as basic as “reach out to learn more about the position” or reworking the request to upload a resume to something like, “apply today to learn more about how you can XYZ at ABC company,” can impact not just the post, but the results it delivers.

Go give it a try.


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