Writing a killer job description is a must if you want to attract the best talent in your industry. However, I’ve seen many companies fail to give job descriptions the attention they need to do their intended job – attract applicants. And, you only have about 14 seconds before a candidate decides if they are going to apply for the job or not. 

As a recruiter with years of experience in executive search in Toronto, I can tell you job descriptions should not be treated as an afterthought or a task that is passed down the line. You can’t just quickly repurpose an existing post and expect to attract the best quality talent in your industry. 

Certain elements need to be included to create a killer job description. I’ve created the following checklist to guide you in improving how you write job descriptions. 

In this blog you’ll learn:

  • Must read stats about the importance of writing killer job descriptions
  • The key components that make up an effective job description
  • Answers to common questions about how to write job descriptions

Must Read Stats About What To Include In Job Descriptions

Before we get into the job description checklist, I thought it was important to stress the importance of writing great job posts with some stats. As you’ll see, writing top-quality job descriptions is an essential part of the recruitment process:

  • 52% of job seekers say the quality of a job description is very or extremely influential in their decision to apply for a job 
  • 72% of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions. However, only 36% of candidates say that job descriptions are clear according to HR Drive.
  • 65% of employers had to revise a job description less than a year after it was posted

What Are The Main Things To Include In A Job Description?

Once you’ve performed your job needs analysis, have a detailed understanding of the job functions and requirements, and received the final sign-off to hire, you can start to write the job description. 

Here are the main pieces of information candidates expect to see:

Information About Your Company

Write a paragraph or two outlining the main selling point about your company in a way that resonates with your ideal candidates. Tailor your language to capture their attention effectively. Focus on highlighting the aspects that align with the interests of candidates for the specific role. Include information about your company mission, how you operate, outstanding achievements, and awards. 

Company culture, in particular, is important to discuss in your write-up about your organization. 71% of job seekers say it’s “very” or “extremely important” to see details about company culture in a job description.

An Overview Of The Job

Write a paragraph that gives a general overview of the job. Include the official job title, the main function of the role, and its purpose. Provide a brief explanation of the key responsibilities and finish by explaining how the role fits within the larger team. 

A Description Of Day to Day Duties

Provide readers with an overview of the daily responsibilities of this role. Focus on actions and outcomes. Outline responsibilities, tasks, and projects that make up the portfolio. Focus on what top talent values most in a position—learning opportunities, autonomy, and the ability to make a significant impact—and spotlight these things whenever feasible.

A Description Of The Ideal Candidate (Required Qualifications)

Discuss your expectations and desired qualities for potential candidates. It’s okay to summarize these points into bulleted items. Consider creating one list for essential traits and another for traits that are desirable but not mandatory. Include:

  • Skills and competencies
  • Strengths and talents
  • Style and approach
  • Experiences and accomplishments
  • Background (academic or otherwise)


96% of job seekers say it’s important to work for a company that embraces transparency. Compensation is one of the main things they want transparency about. 

I recommend providing a realistic salary range, accompanied by a note indicating that experience and competencies will determine the position within that range. Providing a range will help streamline the hiring process by avoiding discussions with candidates seeking significantly higher compensation. You may also want to mention benefits, career advancement opportunities and other perks. 

What Part of Job Descriptions Is Most Important?

There is a lot of information you could include in a job description. The key to writing a great job description is to give job seekers what they are looking for, not what you think is most important. 

How do you know what information to prioritize? I did some digging and found some  insights from recent LinkedIn data. They found that candidates value compensation information most and company details the least. Here is how the parts of job descriptions rank:

  • Compensation (61%)
  • Qualifications (49%)
  • Job Details (49%)
  • Performance Goals (33%)
  • Company Culture (28%)
  • Company Mission (27%)
  • Career Growth (25%)
  • Company Details (23%)

What Are Some Important Job Description Writing Tips?

How you write, shape, and format the job description is also important. So, once you have the key details down, I always recommend that employers review them for tone, formatting, and optimization. 

Getting The Right Tone Affects The Effectiveness of Job Descriptions

The tone you use in your job description can affect who applies:

  • Keep it neutral: 67% of job seekers report having positive impressions of a company when a neutral tone is used in the job description. Using gender-neutral language can increase the number of applicants by 42% 
  • Keep it real: Applicants are 2-4x less likely to apply for a role if the tone of your job post does not match your company culture. 

Formatting Matters – Keep It Short, Sweet, And To The Point

Applicants are not interested in reading long job descriptions. In fact, shorter is better. Shorter job posts receive 8.4% more applications per view than average. 

When writing, use short paragraphs, headers, bullet lists, and other formats to make your post easy to scan and pick out the key points of the role. Remember – you only have about 14 seconds to sell a candidate on applying. 

Optimize Your Job Description To Maximize Visibility Online

If candidates can’t find your post, it doesn’t matter how well it was written. So, you need to optimize it for search across multiple platforms – job sites, LinkedIn, social media, and Google. 

Use keywords and phrases that are relevant to the job and include them throughout your post. It’s also important to choose an appropriate job title. 36% of people who use job sites search for a job using the title of the job they’re looking for.

A Final Word On Writing Job Descriptions

There are thousands of job descriptions you have to compete with online. Most of them are average. If you put in the effort and use this checklist you will have a well-written job description that will attract the top candidates you want working for your company. 

Are you struggling to write job descriptions that attract the right people? We can help you take your recruiting efforts to the next level. IQ PARTNERS is Canada’s leading Executive Search & Recruitment firm. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialists in many industries and we operate at the mid-to-senior management level.


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Gary Hinde Technology Recruiter

Gary Hinde

Gary is a Partner and Practice Lead of one of Toronto's most respected team of IT recruiters. He has a strong background in building and managing teams, and specializes in contract and permanent placements within the IT space. With over 15 years of IT Sales and Recruitment experience, Gary is committed to customer service and has a genuine love for working with people and solving business problems.

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