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Are You Making these 5 Common Job Description Mistakes?


Are You Making these 5 Common Job Description Mistakes?

When job seekers scour the internet for a new job listing, they’ll be strongly influenced by each individual job description. They’ll search for keywords related to the jobs they’re interested in and click on job titles that grab their attention, so if you’re making several of the most common job description mistakes, you could be limiting how many job seekers are viewing or applying for your jobs.

Only 36 percent of candidates believe that job descriptions are clear, but 72 percent of hiring managers believe they are providing clear descriptions. While hiring managers know the job requirements and desired experience for the job, it’s up the recruiter to “sell” the job and ensure that all bases are covered in a single job description to reach the ideal group of job seekers. Make sure to avoid these common job description mistakes in order to increase the amount and quality of applications you receive.

5 Common Job Description Mistakes

1. Lack of Specificity - Job descriptions that lack specific information about the job will probably drive away many of the applicants you are looking for. Vague job descriptions are a turn-off for many applicants, and they do not want to apply for a job that they don’t understand, or if they do, they may not be the high quality applicants you desire. Although being specific may deter less-than-qualified applicants, you will receive applications from higher quality job seekers who fit the needs of the job. In this case, it’s about quality over quantity.

2. Forgetting Critical Points - Much like the specificity of your descriptions, you must make sure to cover all critical points to ensure job seekers understand what they are applying for. Forgetting to include the location of the job, the schooling or experience requirements or other key points will result in confusion from job seekers and possibly a lack of qualified applicants. These critical points are also valuable for searches on job board websites that allow visitors to search for jobs by title, location, salary, etc. The more data you include, the better chance you have of appearing in applicable search results.

3. Too Lengthy - Because job seekers have a short attention span and are likely looking at many job descriptions, lengthy descriptions may cause them to skip to the next one. Finding the balance between providing enough information without over-explaining will be the key to bringing in more applicants. For job descriptions that do require more in-depth descriptions, you can try adding a “read more” link to the full description. Look for similar jobs and competitors’ jobs to determine an appropriate length for job descriptions that will provide all of the necessary information without driving away visitors.

4. Inaccurate Information - While this may seem obvious, there are many incorrect job descriptions that are published online. Whether hiring managers provide job descriptions or recruiters write them, confirming the details multiple times is important to ensuring accurate information is published. If a candidate applies for a job and then learns it was incorrect, it could impair their candidate experience and cause a negative perception of the organization’s employer brand.  In order to maintain a positive reputation among job seekers, always ensure the information provided in job descriptions is accurate, including the title, job responsibilities, requirements, pay, location, etc.

5. Poor Posting Locations - It’s important to expand the reach of your job descriptions and post them in appropriate locations that will receive traffic and ultimately clicks to apply. For some niche jobs, you may be able to locate specific websites that cater to job types. For others, make sure to post to commonly used job posting websites as well as social media and your company’s careers page. The more options job seekers have to view and apply for your jobs, the more applications you’ll receive, resulting in more opportunities to find the right candidate for the job.

Any of these issues could be a major turn-off to job seekers, or you could be attracting the wrong type of applicants with vague or incorrect descriptions. One of the best ways to avoid these mistakes is to work closely with hiring managers to clarify all information prior to publishing job descriptions online. Publish postings on a variety of websites and promote through social media and internal channels to increase reach and garner as many responses as possible to locate the perfect candidate.

When you receive applications, easily narrow them down using recorded video interviews. Rather than calling each applicant directly, invite them to record an interview and review their responses to determine who should move onto the next stage in the hiring process, helping you narrow down a large group without the extra time commitment.

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Holly Wade is the Marketing Manager at GreenJobInterview. She comes from the technology world with a background in marketing and public relations, where she specialized in content management, brand development and social media. Connect with Holly via LinkedIn: