Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

How Can Job Descriptions Be Improved?

In order to get the right candidate for the job, it would probably be a good idea to describe the role as accurately as possible on job boards and career websites. It might not be the easiest thing to do, especially if the role being offered is quite complex.

But here are our 10 candidate experience panelists who share their tips on how can make job descriptions better.

Katrina Kibben

In a lot of ways but I’d say step 1 is to simply stop copying and pasting 7 year old job descriptions and calling it good. A lot has changed in the world, especially how much we read online. Job descriptions can’t just be templates any more. We have to write something that makes someone not only want to apply but want to work for our companies. The second piece is that we need a lot more emphasis on SEO. The internet is a deep and broad place – if you can’t be found, you can’t hire the best people.

Katrina Kibben is the CEO and Principal Consultant at Three Ears Media.

Kevin Grossman

One word: video. Plus, being clearer about who the ideal candidate is and what growth opportunities there are.



Kevin Grossman is President of Global Programs at The Talent Board.

Lori Sylvia

Leading with your Why, in other words, the first paragraph should tell candidates why they should come to work for you, before you ever get into the specific job details. Job descriptions are increasingly the first page that a candidate will land on when they search (thanks to Google for Jobs), so they won’t have visited your careers homepage. You’ve got seconds to get them interested, and the first thing they want to know about is your company, what you offer and how you’re unique from every other employer with an engineering job.

Lori Sylvia is the Founder and CEO of Rally Recruitment Marketing.

Manuel Heichlinger

Writing a good job description is like walking a fine tightrope – it needs to provide in-depth, clear information about the role, and what day to day responsibilities will entail. But often these thorough descriptions can be, frankly, a little dull. It is important to bring a job description to life: describe the challenges of the role, the importance of the job to the company and what sort of person it makes career sense for. In the future, I’d love to see the use of video play a larger role in job descriptions bring the role to life. For example, posting a short video of the hiring manager or recruiter talking about the challenges of the role and what the perfect candidate would look like. This, in my opinion, is the future for job descriptions.

Manuel Heichlinger is LinkedIn’s Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition.

Jeanette Maister

Simplicity. Candidates don’t want to sift through pages of information just to find out they’re not eligible for the position. Be upfront and concise about what skills they need and what they’ll be doing in their role. This will make it easier for them to ask the questions that matter and get the answers they need to move forward in the application process. Technology is quickly coming into place, even at the enterprise level, to make it easier for candidates to be redirected to more appropriate jobs if they select incorrectly.

Jeanette Maister, is Head of Americas at Oleeo (formerly WCN).

Josh Tolan

Job descriptions focus too much on what the company wants from its candidates and not enough on what it’s in it for the candidate. Change your mindset from writing a job description and think about writing a job advertisement. A description just outlines what you want; an advertisement converts page viewers into engaged applicants.

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Sparkhire.

Aida Fazylova

Job descriptions can be improved by using the keywords bots use for this tasks, you can craft a job description to attract the right candidates. Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, specifically HR chatbots (bots), can help companies do just that. HR bots can determine, through a series of questions, an applicant’s suitability for an available position. They look for keywords, based off of preset criteria, and match them with candidate responses. AI allows recruiters to leave the heavy lifting associated with an initial recruitment launch on the list of things bots can take care of.

Aida Fazylova, CEO and Founder, of

Benjamin Gledhill

Job Descriptions need to start truly selling the role from not just a skills/experience purpose but from an emotional perspective with a real focus on the purpose and the why for the candidate. People want to know how they will Make a difference.



Benjamin Gledhill is the Head of Resourcing at Yodel.

Jill Shabelman

Make them simpler! A job description should be a tool to get someone interested in a position not a laundry list of every task that person may do over the next three years, or an unrealistic view of who the ideal candidate may be. Even better are job descriptions that embed or link to content that gives more insight into the work and the team specific to that particular role.

Jill Shabelman is the Employer Brand & Marketing Manager at Deloitte Services LP.

Chris Murdock

This conversation has become incredibly valuable in the sourcing universe as we welcome technologies like AI. Technology can only help us as much as we help it. When we’re relying on AI to pull certain candidate types, we have to match our job descriptions to the keywords we enter into our algorithms or we’re going to have a huge gap in our talent pool. We need to fill job descriptions with specific titles and key terms that are most likely to be searched by our candidates. SEO tools like SEMRush can help us determine popular search terms to bulk up job descriptions as they fit the responsibility of each role

Chris Murdock is Senior Partner and Co-Founder at IQTalent Partners.

By Ushma Mistry

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