How to Write a Job Description That Gets Qualified Job Seekers

If you sit in the camp of the “post and pray” variety I have good news and bad news for you. Which would you want first? I personally like getting the bad news out of the way so I can then enjoy the good news hopefully balancing things out or possibly making the bad news less painful but that is me. So, with that being said I am going to go with the bad news first.

It is more than likely that your job posting is about as entertaining as a movie made with a camcorder and poor lighting sort of a Fellini film with less purpose or style. That is your job description; a poor reflection of what the role is or what is truly needed to be successful to even do the role. THAT is why you get resumes from people who want a role with your company but are not sure if they are a fit or not so they take a shot.  Get tips on articulating your awesome resume.  

Earlier today, in fact, I was having a conversation with a great friend and recruiter for Google about race and gender inclusion. We wanted to know how to get the people we were really looking for to apply for roles and yes even Google has a hiring problem out there.  Funny thing was or not so funny but sad is reports say,

Men will apply for a role that is a 60% match for them yet women will only apply if the match is 90% or higher. Click To Tweet 

That is telling in many ways, to say the least.  Ok, you are saying to yourself reading this post, what can I do to rectify this situation that my company may be facing?  Well, you have come to the right place.

Job posts do not need to be overly complicated nor do they need to be wordy like some of the posts I have done in the past.  Simply put, the role you are looking to fill should be about the candidate and not what your company provides or better yet does in the first paragraph if at all.  Candidates are smarter now and are doing more and more research on the companies they want to work for so traditional postings are less interesting to them. They want to see if they are qualified and interested in the actual role they would in and would it interest them and help them further their career. Learn more on ATS Systems ROI: Value in the Candidate’s Experience.

Some of the best job posts I have written in the past have been concise and to the point. Including a short intro about what the role would entail and then put, in bullet point form, and the skills that are required to be successful.

Like this example:

Required for the Role

  • – Experience with C++ or Java back end development
  • – Experience with coding in a UNIX environment, preferably Linux but any flavor is fine
  • – Experience in a team environment

Simple and easy. At the end, you can also include nice to have or recommended skills. These are not deal breakers or going to disqualify the candidate, nor make them feel that they would not have a good chance of getting an interview for the role.

Nice To Have or Recommended 

  • – Scripting languages such as JavaScript or .Net
  • – Experience writing API’s
  • – Comfortable in a fast-paced environment

Simplicity can be your friend when writing a good job description and if you get right down to the actual needs of what the role is, success should not be far behind.

Posted in

Derek Zeller

Derek Zeller draws from over 20 years in the recruiting industry and has been involved with federal government recruiting specializing within the cleared IT space under OFCCP compliancy. He has experience sourcing for many skill sets including IT, Accounting, Nursing, and Sales. Currently, he is the Senior Recruiting Lead for comScore’s west coast operations covering all things IT. He has experience with both third party agency and in-house recruiting for multiple disciplines. Using out-of-the-box tactics and strategies to identify and engage talent, he has had significant experience in building referral and social media programs, the implementation of Applicant Tracking Systems, technology evaluation, and the development of sourcing, employment branding, and military and college recruiting strategies. Derek currently lives in Portland, OR.

Reader Interactions


  1. papercheap writer says

    Thank you a lot for such detailed guide. I’m working as HR in my company, and I need to find new programmers as soon as possible. As for me it’s really hard task because I’ve never been studying anything related to programming before. I understand that mistakingly I can hire low qualified specialist, and I really hope that your guide will help.


Pin It on Pinterest