min read

Writing an Effective Job Description

February 13, 2024

Think of a job description as an opportunity to sell your company. The best postings get candidates excited about not only their role, but the vision of your company and the team they would be part of. When crafting a job description to catch the eye of top candidates, there are a few things we recommend.

Be as specific as possible. Is there an exciting new project your engineering hire will lead? Include it! Are you expanding into a new product line or developing a new solution? Let your candidates know. Chances are, you’re hiring for a reason – to fill a gap or to alleviate specific responsibilities your current team can no longer take on. The right candidates will light up at the specific scenarios you mention.

If you’re still a little unsure what responsibilities this role will take on, that’s okay too. Go with your best judgment and let candidates know that responsibilities and projects make shift over time (this is true 99% of the time, anyways!).

List requirements separately from preferences. Aim to be as realistic as possible with your breakdown between which skills are needed and which are just nice to-have. The more skills you require, the more job seekers you may turn away because they won’t feel as if they meet your requirements.

For example - would you love to have someone with experience in your industry (for example, semi conductors), but are fine as long as they have industrial company experience? Say that. Or would you prefer to hire someone with experience managing a team of 5 people, but it's okay if they've managed only 1-2 (because that's the size of the team right now)? Say that.

Add details that give the candidate a sense of how the role fits into the organization. Who does the role report to? Which department is the role part of? Job titles vary from organization to organization and by contextualizing where the role fits within the company, candidates can gain a better sense of whether if it’s a good fit for them to apply.

Inject enthusiasm. Generate interest and excitement. Did your company just have your best year to date? Include a sentence about your new valuation. Do you have excellent reviews on Glassdoor? Let people know! A positive attitude and a sense of pride in the team you’re building is contagious.

Sample Job Description template – copy and paste to use!

Our company, [insert company name], is looking for a Senior Software Engineer to build the next generation of [insert project/product the hire would be working on]. Join us as we transform the [industry name] by building exciting new products or features, one at a time. We’re on a mission to help our customers solve [insert problem].

As a Senior Software Engineer, you’ll be responsible for building and scaling features of our new product, and you will own the creation, design, testing and launch of new features on our product roadmap. You’ll also be responsible for the next generation of our engineering systems, working with other Engineering teams to evaluate and implement the best tools and change processes. As a Senior Engineer, you’ll have the opportunity to mentor and advise others on your team. The goal for this role is to move into a management position leading your own team.

To succeed in this role, you’ll need to be a problem-solver with a unique blend of analytical and communication strengths. You’re inquisitive, willing to work through complex challenges, and keen on problem-solving.

The team is made up of top talent from companies like [insert names of previous companies here] and backed by leading investors like [insert names of investors here].

About this role:

At [company name], you’ll be responsible for developing our backend services and frontend applications. You’ll be responsible for collaborating with a variety of teams - from product management to design to customer success - in bringing product features to life that serve our customers and improve their experience.

What you’ll need:

  • 3-5 years of experience as a fullstack or backend engineer, preferably at a SaaS/enterprise software company
  • Experience with Java, C++, AWS
  • Passion for learning and finding solutions to new challenges

What’s nice to have:

  • Experience in the [name of your industry]
  • Ability to travel periodically for meetings or company offsites  
  • Bonus points if you have a GitHub account showcasing past work

What we offer:

  • Competitive salary and bonus
  • Health, dental, vision and life insurance
  • Generous parental leave
  • 401K matching
  • Work from home stipend
  • Flexible time off policy

To apply:

[Details here]

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