Things to avoid writing in a job description

Things to avoid writing in a job description

There are a number of things you should avoid writing in your job description. This is the first thing that a candidate will see when applying for a role and believe it or not, red flags in job descriptions do exist!

Here are a few examples:

  • Gender-biased language

Using gender-specific terms or phrases that may discourage individuals of certain genders from applying. Ensure your language is neutral and inclusive – always!

  • Description or novel?

A job description should always be concise and focused on essential qualifications and responsibilities – with a snippet about who you are as a company! Avoid overwhelming candidates with excessive information.

  • Superlative language

We know you love your business, or you wouldn’t work there! Overhyping your description by using phrases such as ‘the best opportunity ever’ can come across as insincere and deter potential candidates.

  • Unrealistic expectations

Avoid requesting an excessive number of qualifications, skills or years of required experience. Include only what is absolutely necessary – and remember that a candidate doesn’t always have to check all of your boxes!

  • Avoid vagueness

Vague job descriptions and expectations can leave a candidate feeling confused or uncertain about the role. Be super-clear about what the role entails – using bullet points to outline responsibilities.

  • Below-average salaries

If you’re unsure on where to pitch the salary for a role, we have a handy tool called ‘Value My Vacancy’. Pop in the job title you’re recruiting for as well as the location of the role and it will give you an average salary range. Avoid just guessing – no candidate wants to feel undervalued.

  • Unfocused job titles

You may think that a fancy job title will make the role more appealing. The truth is an unfocused job title will actually make it harder for candidates to find your job description. Keep it simple.

For example, if you’re looking for a Sales Manager, don’t list it as ‘A Master of Sales’, because who is ever going to know to search that?

  • Unrealistic benefits

The last thing you want is to set unrealistic expectations for any potential candidates who may be reading your job description. Only include benefits that you can follow through with, should they get the job!

Controversial opinion incoming… Only include benefits that are actually benefits. Listing the legal, bare minimum holiday days a candidate is entitled to, just to fill out your list, is never a winner. If you offer more than the minimum entitlement – fantastic!

  • Personality matters

Workplace culture is huge – especially for candidates in today’s world. Talk about who you are as a company and what sort of values and attitudes you look for.

  • Keep it professional

Avoid using slang and informal language in your job description. It doesn’t necessarily make you look like a cool, relaxed company, it can actually lead candidates to not take you seriously. Be professional and respectful throughout!

Avoiding these things in a job description will allow you to attract candidates who are genuinely interested in the position and who’s values align with those of your organisation.

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