If you are a small or medium-sized business owner looking to attract job seekers to an open vacancy, then writing a job description, which will form part of your job ad, is a crucial task. A great job description will attract candidates in greater numbers and the perfect job description will ensure they are qualified, at the right seniority level, and the top talent in your industry.
Job descriptions that are too short may not be taken seriously or provide enough detail to give a job seeker a basic understanding of the job posting, let alone if it is right for them. Too long, and job descriptions can be skipped over or have the job purpose and key facts lost within a mountain of text.
In this article, we cover:
- Job description length and format
- How long should a job title be?
- How long should a job summary be?
- How many job responsibilities and required knowledge should I add?
- What is the correct length for job ads?
- Job description examples
Job Description Length And Format
A good job description should provide the job seeker thorough knowledge of the role on offer. When writing a job description, you should aim to achieve this in 300-500 words. Another way to judge the length of job descriptions is to aim for half an A4 sheet of typed paper or one or two screen lengths of a desktop/laptop or tablet/mobile phone screen.
The format of a job description should include job titles, job summary, job responsibilities, and required/working knowledge. To hit the sweet spot, you can make use of formatting such as short paragraphs and bullet points. You should follow good basic principles in your hiring process, so avoid internal jargon that might deter the best candidates.
How Long Should A Job Title Be?
Job titles need to be accurate (reflect the role) and garner the attention of potential candidates. Jobs that tend to catch the eye of a prospective future employee are usually 1-3 words, comprising less than 20-25 characters. One survey discovered that more than a third of the job application decision is made by the candidate on job titles alone.
We recommend doing some keyword research on job titles, listing those with the highest volumes for each company department, and avoiding vague terms. For further insights and guidance, read our blog choosing the right job title.
How Long Should A Job Summary Be?
The job summary length should be between 100-150 words or 2-3 sentences. Remember, you want to grab job seekers’ attention, and too long often means unread! The job summary can include the job’s location or if it is remote, top perks, who the position reports, what makes the role unique, and details of the work environment (office based, working with hazardous materials). Reserve your list of duties for the job responsibilities section.
How Many Job Responsibilities And Required Knowledge Should I Add?
Dedicating another 100-150 words to job responsibilities should give the best talent sufficient comprehension of essential activities. To ensure a future employee can handle the technical matters of the role, must have qualifications and specific skills are included here. Employers should also consider mentioning desirable personality traits and essential physical requirements (such as standing for long periods).
To find your ideal candidate, consider creating a list of must have and nice to have education and skills. The list can use 7-8 bullet points to give a clear, visible snapshot of jobs, and could include technical certifications, a bachelor’s degree, problem-solving, or complete mastery/comprehensive knowledge/general knowledge of X.
What Is The Correct Length For Job Ads?
An additional 100 words will be sufficient to turn your job description into a job ad. To help candidates understand your company and offer, your job ad should include a salary range, company name, company description (what makes your company unique), full-time/part-time, temporary/permanent, and a link to your career site. You can read more on the topic of how to write job ads in our guides, how many words in a job advert and what is the difference between a job description and a job advert.
Job Description Examples
If you want to see how long should a job description be, view the samples and examples in our job description library, comprising hundreds of unique job descriptions for all imaginable positions. You can also review our writing advice and download a job description template or job advert template here.
Job Descriptions Length FAQs
Next, we tackle your questions on the length of an effective job description to attract job seekers.
The ideal length of a job description should result in a text that is concise and to the point. It should provide enough information about the job to attract qualified candidates, but not so much that it becomes overwhelming or tedious to read. Typically, a job description should be no more than one to two pages in length.
The number of items in a job description can vary depending on the complexity of the role and the level of detail needed to convey the requirements and responsibilities of the position. However, it’s generally recommended to include between six and eight key items in a job description, such as job title, job summary, duties and responsibilities, qualifications, skills, and experience.
The amount you should write for a job description depends on the level of detail required to effectively communicate the job requirements and responsibilities to job seekers. It’s important to strike a balance between providing enough information to attract qualified candidates and not overwhelming potential applicants with too much information. Generally, a job description should be long enough to convey the essential details of the job, but not so long that it becomes difficult to read or loses the reader’s attention.
There is no set standard for a job description, but it should include key information such as the job title, job summary, duties and responsibilities, qualifications, skills, experience, and any other relevant information about the position.
To write a good job description, it’s important to focus on the key aspects of the job and provide clear and concise information that accurately conveys the requirements and expectations of the role. Some tips for writing a good job description include:
– Use clear and concise language that is easy to understand.
– Focus on the essential job duties and responsibilities.
– Highlight any unique or important qualifications or experience required for the job.
– Include information about the company culture, mission, and values.
– Be specific about the skills and experience required for the job.
– Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to potential candidates.