5 Tips to Write a Great Job Description

Raul Popadineți
5 Mar, 2021 • 4 min read
Photo by Glenn Carstens Peters on Unsplash

Hiring good candidates is not easy. You can’t just copy a template, change the placeholders, and expect to receive great responses. You’ll probably receive the same treatment from the applicants—generic resumés, nothing personal.

With Fair Remote, we put companies first, so the people applying for an opening get to know your company first. How you present the business is up to you, but if you need a few tips in this area, we wrote an article on this topic to help you get started.

The job description is the cherry on top of the cake. If you nail both, you’ll increase the number of high-quality candidates that apply for the job.

So what makes a great job post?

1. Choose a Concise Title

First and foremost, don’t use jargon in the job title. Terms like ninja, rockstar, superstar should be cut out. High-quality candidates don’t look for these types of jobs. They should be able to tell from a title if the position is something they would consider. We know people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover or title. Still, most of them do, especially in the 21st century, where we have an abundance of information and our attention span becomes shorter the more data we need to filter.

When looking for programmers, the titles that convert the most include the main technology used on a day-by-day basis, the seniority level, and the position (e.g.: [Senior/Junior] Python/Ruby/Java/React + Developer/Programmer). The seniority level is optional, and it can differ from one company to another, but it can filter out a few more people that are not a good fit.

Try to avoid generic terms like Backend or Frontend since they don’t tell too much at first. It’s good to be mindful of people’s time. Why waste a person’s time if it’s not a good fit from the beginning?

A concise title will attract candidates that you know have a good chance of entering the interview process.

2. Describe the Application Process

Mention until when people can send their applications for the job. Try to be as specific as possible (e.g., Sunday, 21st of March @ 8:00 pm GMT). The exact hour and time zone help keep people accountable. If candidates apply after the set timestamp, you should exclude them automatically. Again, this is all about being as blunt as possible with the process and be mindful of your hiring team’s time.

Write upfront what the application needs to include or exclude. Do people need to submit a resumé, a cover letter, or both? Are there any additional preliminary questions they need to answer? If yes, offer an average time applicants need to allocate for the entire process.

3. Job Expectations

Explain some issues or features a person in the same role worked on recently and present some future roadmap tasks. This creates a clear picture in the candidate's mind of what to expect from their end. Be as specific as possible. If you can’t, due to privacy concerns, try to describe the problems they would have to deal with daily.

Technologies used for the role are another point that should be touched on in this job description section.

4. Applicant Expectations

This section is probably the best place to address if you have a list of frequently asked questions from candidates during the interview. Make it as clear as possible what’s requested from the applicant to be a good fit for your company culture. Hiding the "not so good" parts will only lead to frustration and a toxic relationship in the long run. You could’ve saved all that time and energy by hiring someone who understands all the implications and agrees with them.

If you don’t have a list of questions, here are a few to consider:

What are some values you’re looking for in a candidate to know if they’re a good fit? 

What’s not so good about the role?

Does the role require a lot of interaction with the customer? 

Does it require a lot of writing? 

If it’s a remote position, do they need to overlap for a certain amount of hours daily?

5. Include Pay

Putting salaries upfront is the most sensitive topic when it comes to job listings. Many managers want to have the lever here by hiding it initially. However, the big issue is that you can waste a lot of time with a great candidate going through many interviews to find out in the end that you can’t meet their financial expectations. You’ve wasted your time and her/his time.

We touched upon this a few times on our blog and why it’s so important. It’s the main reason we require salaries for every job post on Fair Remote.

The more transparent you are with all this, the more it tells about your company culture. High-quality candidates have developed an eye for spotting good versus toxic company cultures. You'll mostly get poor applicants if you invest as little as possible in describing your company and what a person should expect from a specific role.

These are our 5 tips for writing a great job description. What other tips would you include to make a job post more compelling?

Fair Remote is a remote job board that puts companies first. We offer a 14-day trial with unlimited job posts, no credit card required. Once that’s over, you can post a 10-day job post for free each month, and if you need more, we offer an unlimited plan for 50% off.

You can subscribe at the bottom of our homepage to find out when new companies enroll and post new job openings.

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