February 17, 2021

5 Tips for Writing Better Sales Job Descriptions

First impressions count, and your job descriptions are typically a job seeker’s first impression of your company. If you want candidates to apply for your positions, you need job descriptions that stand out — especially right now. Although unemployment rates are high, companies are still struggling to find qualified applicants. The market is flush with talent, but not all of it is the right talent for your organization.

Qualified candidates can’t possibly apply to every open role in their field, but you can increase the chances they’ll apply to yours by writing a stellar job description that catches their eyes. Here’s how to write a job description that’ll put your roles above your competitors’:

Avoid Technical Jargon

A study by Agency Central found that application rates spike when job descriptions contain 500-749 characters, or about 90-135 words. That’s pretty clear evidence job seekers prefer clear, simple, straightforward job descriptions.

A good way to keep your ads concise is to steer clear of technical jargon. As a recruiter, you probably skim over needlessly complicated language and clichés like “results-driven,” “communication skills,” and “detail-oriented” when reviewing a candidate’s resume. The same goes for candidates reading your job descriptions. To avoid confusion and better hold a potential candidate’s attention, use concise language that gets right to the point and covers only the essential details.

Explain What You’re Looking For

Make it clear from the very beginning what hard and soft skills are needed for your role. By including this information in the job description, you give job seekers the chance to determine whether they have what it takes to succeed. Those who don’t can self-select out of your process, adding an extra layer of screening to the proceedings.

Additionally, a job description clearly conveys the company’s expectations tells job seekers the employer strongly understands both the role that needs to be filled and its own brand. Top candidates will be more likely to apply for your role when they see that your company understands the job and stands ready to offer the necessary support to help a new hire succeed. As a result, job seekers will feel more comfortable and confident accepting the role if offered.

Use Inclusive Language

You may be needlessly limiting your candidate pool by including the wrong words in your job descriptions. According to researchers at the University of Waterloo and Duke University, a job description with masculine-coded language can make women less interested in applying for a role, even if that woman feels qualified for the position. LinkedIn specifically recommends avoiding words like “strong,” “competitive,” “assertive,” “decisive,” “leader,” and “self-reliant,” which tend to be perceived as “masculine.”

Check out the latest issue of Recruiter.com Magazine for more career advice and recruiting trends:

Use more neutrally perceived words to convey your job ad’s message. It can be tough to spot gender-coded language in your own writing, so you may want to ask trusted colleagues for help. The effort is worth it: You’ll make your job description more inclusive and attract a more diverse pool of applicants.

Edit, Edit, Edit

As mentioned before, first impressions count. You don’t want to turn off a potential candidate because of a simple grammatical error. Much like gendered language, spotting our own errors can be hard, so consider asking a trusted coworker for proofreading help. You can also use tools like Grammarly to help identify and address mistakes before publishing your ad.

Also, remember to double-check that all the information is correct! You don’t want to miss any critical details.

Communicate Culture and Values

It’s critical that your job ad dials in on what attracts job seekers to your company. Top candidates are looking for rewarding careers and companies with cultures and values they share. Your job ad will be much more compelling if you take time to communicate your values, the importance of your work, and the impact your workforce has on driving the company mission forward.

The best source for these cultural details is your own current employees. Find out what attracted them to your company. What do they love about your culture and values? What keeps them sticking around? What do they wish they had known about the company before applying? Be sure to highlight details that make your job stand out from your competitors’.

Show Candidates What’s in It for Them

We already talked about the importance of setting clear expectations for the job, but it’s equally important to be clear about what employees will receive from you. According to a LinkedIn study, 61 percent of job seekers want to know about compensation before applying. Include salary, benefits, career growth opportunities, and other relevant perks to show candidates how they’ll be rewarded for their work.

Candidates are always looking for opportunities that best meet their needs. Including benefits and compensation in your job descriptions will help you sell your job to candidates by showing them what you’ll do for them.

Karyn Mullins is president of MedReps.com. Connect with Karyn on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Karyn Mullins is the president of MedReps.com, a job board which gives members access to the most sought-after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the web.