15 tips on how to write successful job descriptions based on science

15 tips on how to write successful job descriptions based on science

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HR professionals have a hard enough time managing their staff to operate at peak performance. However, finding the right people to fill an open position from the start can help alleviate a lot of trouble later on down the line.

One of the key ways to attract the right talent is writing an effective job description. It needs to explain enough about the job that you get the right applicants, but also needs to make the position and your company sound alluring enough to be sure you get any applicants at all. On that note, EBI looked at 15 science-backed tips to answer the question how to write job descriptions - here they are.

On job titles

  • Keep titles 50-60 characters long Job titles with 50-60 characters out-performed other by 30% - 40%.
  • Be specific with your titles Including the term "cashier" outperformed a title with the less-specific "crew member" by over 60%.
  • Be specific to your industry Including the term "CNA" outperformed "Certified Nursing Assistant" by almost 40%.

EBI Job Titles

On descriptions

  • Keep length about 4,000 characters Descriptions between 4,000 and 5,000 characters had the highest click-to-apply rates.
  • Use keywords to boost views Descriptions that utilised keywords specific to the industry got 10% more views that those without.
  • Keep completion time under 15 minutes When applications take more than 15 minutes to complete, there is a 365% decrease in submission rate.
  • Optimise descriptions for each age group 16 - 24yo: Most interested in a job that pays the bills 24 - 35yo: Most interested in jobs with a career path. Over 35yo: Most interested in long-term jobs.

EBI Job Descriptions

On overall layout

  • Put important information first Eye-tracking shows the readers usually skip the bottom section of the description completely.
  • Don't forget about the company description When reading a job description, users spent almost as much time reading the company description as they did the job description. In fact, they spend 25.9s on reading the job description, 23s on company description, and 14.6s on job requirements.
  • Make it scannable Eye-tracking tests have shown that readers typically skim the job description portion.
  • Include salary information Putting salary information near the top of the job posting double the amount of applicants.
  • Consider a salary range Including a salary range can increase your applicants by 50%.
  • Optimise for mobile 53% of 18 to 29 year olds use a smartphone to job search.

EBI Overall Layout


Lead Photo / EBI

Infographics / EBI

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