How to write job descriptions that stand out

In a candidate-driven market, each stage of the hiring process is crucial. One way to attract the right people to the right role is to ensure you have created an appealing job description that appropriately represents the role and what you have to offer to applicants. In this article, we describe how you can create job descriptions that will draw in the right candidates.

1. Describe what the candidate can expect from you

Job listings traditionally start with a description of the role, followed by a description of the job requirements. But why not turn this structure on its head? Try starting with what the candidate can expect from you. For instance, what responsibilities will this person have and what type of clients will those responsibilities allow them to be in contact with? How does this role fit into the team – will this person have a lot of autonomy? Or will they instead have the opportunity to lead a team? What growth opportunities will you provide the candidate if they work for you?

Find the unique upsides of the job and start your job ad by describing them. If a candidate has the right motivation – that is, if they are driven by ambition and the ability to learn and develop – they will be attracted by the exciting opportunities this role will provide them.


This ad by The Siegfried Group gets it right.

2. Paint a picture of the day-to-day activities

As we talked about in a previous article, when looking for a new team member, the importance of cultural fit cannot be overstated. To ensure you find the right person for the role, the team and the company, you can do a preliminary test for cultural fit right from the get-go of the search. Include a short but detailed description of day-to-day activities and team culture in the job description, focusing on what it really feels like to work in the role. Below is a good example of how to do this.


K15t provides a detailed description of daily life at the company in this blog post.

3. Describe the impact the candidate will make in this role

Our experience in working with high level executives on a daily basis has taught us that driven, ambitious candidates often have one item firmly at the top of their wish list for a new role: to make an impact. Whether in terms of societal impact or impact on the company, top candidates universally want to make their mark through their career. One of the best ways to attract these high potentials is, therefore, to state clearly what impact they will make in the role.


Dropbox started their job ad by clearly stating impact: “As an early member of Dropbox NYC Engineering, you’ll have the unique opportunity to build critical product features and infrastructure while shaping the direction of the team and the office. Find out how you can help below….”

Driven, ambitious candidates often have one item firmly at the top of their wish list for a new role: to make an impact

4. Keep it brief, clear and honest

No one has the time to read long job descriptions – especially not highly performing executives!

Don’t shy away from using bullet points when listing the job requirements, or even exclusively using bullet points throughout the entire ad. In the latter case, you should make sure you have a sensible organizing principle for the ad, for example by using categories as CoolBlue did in the below example.


CoolBlue describes the ideal candidate using bullet points and three categories in this job posting.

5. Target tone and lay-out to the ideal candidate

Our last tip for a good job description is to put yourself into the shoes of your ideal candidate and think about what would draw that person in if they were passively scrolling by your ad on Indeed, LinkedIn or Google. What would make them pause and start reading?

Start by making a sketch of the ideal profile – their age, education level, interests, hobbies, ambitions, motivators. Are they digitally savvy (and would therefore respond well to a job ad optimized for mobile users)? Are they self-serious, or would rather prefer a more light-hearted and humorous tone? Would using (technical) jargon attract them or drive them away? Would using emojis in the ad attract or repel?

Below is a good example of an ad that is targeted exactly to the target audience.


This job ad for an associate in marketing is refreshingly to the point, right in line with expectations for a Gen Z/millenial target audience.


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Batenborch International: Elevating Businesses through Expert Executive Search and Interim Management in Sales, Marketing, Digital, and HR Across Europe & Africa.