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Optimizing Job Descriptions: 5 Best Practices

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If you notice that your open positions are being filled late, turnover is high, or you're constantly making unnecessary hires, it might be time to rewrite the job descriptions.

So if you want to attract the best candidates faster, consider revamping your job descriptions.

Why you should rewrite job descriptions

Changes in role:

Over time, the responsibilities associated with a particular position change, due to changes in market requirements, corporate strategy or in response to technological innovations. Sometimes the role itself evolves into something larger or more complex. A new version of the job descriptions therefore ensures that everyone involved is clear about the content of the position.

Attract new applicants:

Maybe you still have the same generic job description you had five years ago, which doesn't necessarily appeal to current candidates. Rephrasing using clear and concise language and highlighting the unique aspects of the position can help.

Improve accuracy and clarity:

Sometimes job descriptions are inaccurate or unclear, confusing potential applicants. Additionally, it is difficult to evaluate performance when you have an unclear job description as a reference. Revising the job description can ensure that it is accurate and easy to understand.


A job description may need to be revised to comply with the latest employment rules and regulations. For example, if a company is required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, the job description should be rewritten to reflect this information.

Adjustment to company goals:

If you have made organizational restructuring or changes to company goals or values that could impact the position, you should update your job description to align with your company's current goals.

Diversity and integration:

Review your job descriptions to ensure they do not contain biased or discriminatory words or phrases. Use inclusive language to attract more diverse applicants and show your company's commitment to diversity.

Optimized for search engines:

Optimize your job descriptions with relevant keywords to improve your job's visibility on online job boards and search engines and attract more applicants.

Feedback from human resources:

Get feedback from hiring managers who have already hired for the same position to improve the effectiveness of the job description.

Feedback from applicants:

Interview previous applicants who have gone through the hiring process to see if you can improve the job description and make it more attractive to future applicants.

Technology and industry updates:

When hiring technology and IT professionals, it makes sense to update job descriptions to reflect changes in technology and industry standards that may impact the skills and qualifications of the role.

Positioning in the competition:

Research competitor job descriptions to understand how similar positions are represented in the job market and tailor them accordingly to make them more competitive and attractive to potential applicants.

Tips for rewriting job descriptions

Rewriting job descriptions is just as important as writing them the first time to ensure you've addressed the issues mentioned above and set the right expectations.

Here are some best practices for rewriting job descriptions:

Use of job description software in reformulation of job descriptions

Using job description software can save you a lot of time and effort when writing and editing job descriptions.

These tools can:

  • Automate keyword optimization, formatting and spell checking
  • Generate templates and pre-built content blocks so you can quickly write and customize job descriptions
  • A/B test different versions of job descriptions to see which version attracts the most applications so you can optimize your description
  • Suggest inclusive words and phrases to remove one-sided terms and make them more appealing to a broader audience.
  • Some software has features such as text-to-speech and alternative text for images so that people with disabilities can submit their applications, resulting in a more inclusive hiring process.
  • You can also integrate your JD software with other HR tools, making it easier for hiring managers to manage the entire hiring process.
  • Most JD tools have collaboration features so you can easily edit and share job descriptions with other members of the recruiting team.

Applying seo principles and techniques  in reformulation of job description

Optimizing your job descriptions with relevant keywords can help them become more visible and rank better in search engines. By including the right keywords, you will attract candidates who are actively searching for specific skills, roles, and industries. This results in a higher quality applicant pool and reduces recruitment costs.

To optimize your job descriptions, look for keywords that candidates use when searching for your position. When doing your keyword research, also consider the industry, job title variations, and location (e.g., “Remote Sales Manager”).

Once you have a list of keywords, include them in the job title, headings, duties, qualifications, and benefits. Avoid keyword stuffing or unnatural placement of words in your JDs.

Write a clear, descriptive title with relevant keywords that accurately reflect the position. Add a concise and keyword-rich meta description that summarizes the feature and key benefits. The meta description is displayed in the search results snippets.

For best results, link your job posting to relevant career pages and company culture information. This way, applicants can better understand your company. Don’t forget to include a call to action to encourage applications.

Finally, optimize your job postings for mobile devices, where many candidates are searching for their next job.

TIP: Track and analyze the performance of your job ads to identify areas for improvement.

List compensation and benefits when writing job descriptions

Posting your compensation and benefits in your job description will save you time and effort. They attract applicants who are genuinely interested in the position.
You'll also set expectations early so you can weed out candidates who may not be a good fit due to mismatched salary expectations. And being open about your compensation package shows that you value your employees and promotes a positive company image.

Some states also have equal pay laws that require employers to provide salary ranges in job postings.

You don't always have to include the actual salary in your job description. Instead, provide a realistic salary range based on market research and industry standards.

Your benefits are just as important as your salary, so list key benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and retirement benefits. You can also highlight perks that are unique to your company, such as: Remote work, a 4-day week, a learning and development scholarship or a birthday vacation.

Collaborate with human resources in reformulation of job descriptions

When revising job descriptions, HR managers should definitely work with the hiring managers, as they know the day-to-day tasks and challenges of the position very well.

Hiring managers will explain in detail the specific tools, systems, or skills the candidate will need to be successful in their role. You can provide realistic performance expectations so that the hiring manager can note these expectations in the job description. They can also provide insights into the company culture and team dynamics, ensuring that the description is not just about how the job is performed, but also how the selected candidate interacts with other team members and contributes to the company.

As a hiring manager, interview hiring managers and employees in the same position to learn what the ideal candidate looks like. Brainstorm the most important skills and “nice-to-have” qualifications. Based on this, you can draft a job description and ask the hiring manager to review and approve it. Based on the hiring manager's feedback, you can revise job descriptions to ensure they align with the company's needs and avoid having to repeat the hiring process, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Assign a copywriter to rewrite your job descriptions

If your company is hiring heavily and you only have a few hiring managers, consider hiring a copywriter to help you revise job descriptions.

Copywriters can do more than just list duties and responsibilities:

  • Research and understand your ideal candidate, their problems and desires to craft the language and tone of your job description to speak directly to them
  • Use storytelling techniques to highlight your company culture and the importance of the role you are recruiting for. Copywriters know how to appeal to candidates' emotions and desires so that your job descriptions stand out and attract the right candidates.
  • They bring new ideas to the table. Their outside perspective and advertising experience will help you create a fresher, more appealing job description. According to Barbara Bruno, a recruiting expert, recruiting is selling. As a recruiter, you have to make your company and your opportunities attractive to your applicants.
  • Make sure your job description aligns with your company's overall branding to ensure brand consistency. This helps strengthen your employer brand by providing a more cohesive experience for candidates.
  • Reduce your workload. Revising job descriptions can be a time-consuming task. Outsourcing this task allows you to focus on other important aspects of recruiting, such as:on job interviews and writing job offers.
  • Proofread your JD. Sometimes you need to take a second look at your job description to make sure it is free of grammatical errors, typos, and inconsistencies. This is what copywriters do best (after checking them with JD software first). A professionally written JD has a positive impact on your employer brand.

Take your experiences into consideration

When hiring copywriters, pay attention to their experience in specific roles and industries so they can tailor their content to the specific needs and expectations of candidates in your field. It's also helpful if they have experience tackling specific recruiting challenges. If you're having trouble attracting a wider variety of applicants or filling a niche position, a copywriter can offer specialized services to help you overcome these problems.

IceHrm offers a job description editing service to take the daunting task of editing your JDs away from you. Our team uploads your job postings to Text Analyzer, edits them for consistency, compliance and completeness, and then sends them back to you for publication. This can save your team a lot of time!

Effective job descriptions are crucial for attracting the right candidates and ensuring organizational success. Utilize best practices and tools like IceHrm to streamline your rewriting process.

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