The process of applying for a job can be quite tedious and as you may have guessed, the job description is one of the main requirements. Inevitably, you will be asked to write a short description of your previous work experience. You may have gotten carried away with the process and now find yourself in a bit of a pickle.
Perhaps you’ve landed a job you’ve applied for a few times before and never got due to lack of experience. Or perhaps you’re finally made an offer you can’t refuse and are struggling with the decision of whether to accept or decline the job. In either case, you’re probably wondering what to write in your job description.
The answer is quite simple. You don’t have to write down every little detail of your experience. That’s not how job descriptions work. Typically, you will be asked to describe your skills and match those to the responsibilities of the job. For example, if you are applying for a job as an editor, you might be asked to describe your skills in editing. Then, the recruiter will dig a bit deeper and ask you about your experience as an editor. In this case, you would then describe your previous experiences as an editor. To match the skills, you have to have the corresponding experience. In other words, you can’t say you are good at editing and then, within the same application, claim you have no experience in editing. The application will see through this attempt at ambiguity and you’ll be declined for the job.
This is not to say that you have to have had a specific job to write about. You are free to write about any experience that is relevant to the responsibilities of the job. In other words, if you are applying for a job as a social media manager, you could describe any experience you have having dealt with customers/clients over social media. Or if you are applying for a job as a content developer, you could mention any projects you are involved in developing content for. The list of potential experiences could be endless.
To make your writing process easier, here are some tips on how to write a job description that will land you the job you want:
Keep It Short
It is always better to keep your writing concise and to the point. As we’ve established, you don’t need to regale the readers with a long list of your past jobs. Keep it short and sweet. If you want a longer piece, consider breaking it up into several smaller segments. For example, if you have a lot of experience in accounting, you might want to describe the responsibilities of an accountant and then break it down further into subsections such as bookkeeping and audit. This will add a certain depth to your application and make you stand out from the crowd.
In the same way you would use keywords in a search engine to find the content you’re looking for, you should use keywords in your job description. If you’re applying for a job in a specialized industry, you might want to consider using specialized keywords. For example, if you are applying for a position in pharmaceutical sales, you might want to mention ADP (average daily prescription rate), MEPS (Medical Expenditure Panel Survey), etc. When you use keywords, it will make your content easier to find. Plus, it will make your job description more relevant to those looking for jobs in your specialized industry. Relevant is important because there will be thousands of other job descriptions on the site and it’s important for the recruiter to be able to find your description easily.
Use Active Verbs
If you’re writing about something that you’ve done, use active verbs. For example, instead of saying, “I edited this article,” say, “I edited the article to improve its readability.” This is a tiny bit more work on your part, but it will make a significant difference. Avoid using the passive voice in job descriptions. It will make the piece harder to follow and less interesting to the reader. Instead, use active verbs and make the piece better for everyone involved.
Make It Action-Oriented
If you’ve had a specific job title, you should use the suffix -er to form your job description. This is your chance to shine and show off the work you’ve done. To make it more attractive to potential employers, you should take this opportunity to talk about the results you’ve achieved. For example, if you’re applying for a job as a legal assistant, you might want to mention the results of the cases you’ve worked on. Or if you’re applying for a job as an office manager, you could mention how you managed to reduce office turnover by 25%
To add to the above, you can also use the -er suffix to form a “To do” list for the position you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a job as a legal assistant, you might want to create a list of tasks such as analyzing legal precedents, preparing legal documents, etc. In this way, you’ll show that you’ve thought through the responsibilities of the job and will make the job more relevant to those who will be tasked with hiring you.
Use The Right Metaphors
A metaphor is a figure of speech that compares two things that are not necessarily similar. For example, if I tell you that a bearish investment strategy is like a goldmine, you understand what I mean. However, if I use the analogy of a rainbow to explain why more women are participating in skateboarding, you wouldn’t necessarily know what to make of it. Metaphors can be quite tricky; use them sparingly and make sure the reader understands what you mean.
Follow The HR Instructions
Sometimes, employers will ask you to apply for a job in a specific format they’ve provided. If you follow these instructions carefully, it will make the application process much faster and easier. Plus, it will make you look like an attentive and organized individual. When the hiring manager receives your application, they will know you’ve taken the time to follow these instructions carefully and it will add an additional point to your application.
Hopefully, this post will help you in your quest to write the perfect job description. Remember, a good job description can make or break your application for the role. Make sure to take the time to craft a unique description that will make the reader interested in your application.