Online tools to help you write better job descriptions

Having a really good job description is in the interests of both employer and candidates, as it discourages unsuitable candidates from applying for a role and wasting everyone’s time.

Having a detailed job description:

  • Attracts more suitable candidates
  • Helps you to create enticing job ads and appropriate interview questions
  • Establishes responsibilities for the role right from the start
  • Provides a basis for the employee to progress in the company

Fortunately, there are many free online tools out there that can help you craft a better job description.

Check the readability of your copy

There are some basic rules for making text easier to read: using shorter, simpler sentences, avoiding jargon and multi-syllable words, replacing adverbs with more descriptive verbs and using the active voice instead of the passive voice.

There are several online tools that will grade your copy and help you write more legible and enticing job descriptions such as Hemingway or this Automatic Readability Checker.

Remove gender bias

Academic research has shown that many common words used in job descriptions have male or female associations. For example, ‘analyse’ and ‘determine’ are typically associated with male traits, while ‘collaborate’ and ‘support’ are considered female. Using words with a hidden gender bias could inadvertently discourage people of the opposite gender applying, even if they are the most qualified candidate.

There are several tools to help you eliminate gender bias, such as Totaljobs’ Gender Bias Decoder or this Gender Decoder for Job Ads.

Check for unconscious discrimination

Every year, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) receives hundreds of complaints about discriminatory ads for jobs and services. Often, the advertiser doesn’t even realise that they are using discriminatory wording that falls foul of the Equality Act 2010. For example, asking for ‘young’ or ‘female’ applicants is common but illegal and potentially leaves employers vulnerable to legal action.

The EHRC has released a useful FAQ about lawful advertising for jobs and services. Tarsh Partnership’s article on Illegal Interview Questions can also help you steer clear of tricky topics.

Check the role and responsibilities match

Employee roles evolve over time and sometimes they end up taking over duties not typically associated with that job title. If you simply recruit to fill dead men’s shoes, you could find it difficult to attract candidates with that particular mix of skills.

O-Net (the Occupational Information Network) is a public database that describes which functions and skills tend to be associated with which job titles. You can use it to check your job description is up to date and right for the role.

Boost your SEO

These days, it is more common for candidates to find your vacancy directly through a Google search, rather than searching via a job board. In fact, 30% of all Google searches are related to employment. That’s why it’s worth spending a bit of time checking your use of keywords and SEO, so your job can appear higher in search results.

RecruitingTools.com has a great tutorial for optimising job descriptions and adverts for search using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool.

Specify a salary

If you’re not sure what salary you should be offering for a role, it can be tempting to leave it blank and ask candidates what they are looking for at interview. However, two out of three jobseekers are more likely to apply for a role when a salary is specified. In fact, an eye tracking study from The Ladders shows that salary is the most interesting piece of information for candidates reading your job description.

If you don’t have an exact salary, including a salary range will make sure you attract candidates with the right level of experience. You can research marketing salaries using Tarsh Partnership’s online Salary Checker or using the salary tools from Indeed or LinkedIn.


If you need more advice and help regarding a specific marketing vacancy, get in touch with the Tarsh Partnership on 020 7849 6875 or mail@tarshpartnership.co.uk.


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