Your job spec isn’t just a list of things a person can expect to do at work. It’s a marketing tool. A purple squirrel’s first impression of what it’s like to work at your organisation.
Write it badly and the best candidates will move on before they’ve finished reading. Write it well? Ahhh… Then they’ll flock to you.
Writing a great job spec doesn’t need a writing qualification either. In fact, the best copywriters will tell you that a few key guidelines will make any writing more engaging.
Want to know what they are? Here are our 3 top tips for writing better job specs:
1. Connect with your audience
Good job specs connect with people and communicate well. And a great place to start is by writing the way you speak (avoiding jargon, legalese, acronyms, and formal wording) and addressing the audience’s needs. Use words like you and your (rather than we, our and us), and cover things like what their average day will look like, their potential for growth, the expected salary, and a taste of the company culture.
2. Keep it short and to the point
Research by indeed.com has shown that the most effective job specs are between 150 and 350 words long. They’re short and to the point. To keep your spec concise, leave out the obvious stuff (a secretary knows s/he’ll maintain files and work on a computer) and cut all unnecessary adjectives (e.g.: beautiful) and adverbs (e.g.: effectively).
3. Create room with white space
It’s a false assumption that a more densely compacted job spec is more impressive. The truth is that people don’t like to read; it’s a strain on the eye – especially on a computer screen. White space (like the gaps between paragraphs) gives readers bite-sized chunks that are easier to scan and more likely to be read and understood. Do this by keeping your paragraphs four or five lines long and creating gaps between copy and headings.
First impressions count. And when it’s perfect candidates you’re after, knowing how to engage them quickly and effectively can make all the difference in the world.