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Phrases to strip from your job description

September 11, 2017 | By Lisa Dare, TEKsystems Digital Content Strategist

businessman hiding behind a desk peeking up

Ah, the lowly job description: just another chore in your day. An obstacle in the path to hiring the help you need right now.

But actually, job descriptions are an opportunity: a chance to attract the best talent without spending an additional dime.

Because while your competitors are using documents written by HR and lawyers, you can build an effective ad that targets the right people and makes them *want* to work for you.

What your job description says

What a candidate hears

Including but not limited to

We really enjoy bureaucracy, don’t you?

And other duties as assigned

We don’t think you’re smart enough to figure out that a job requires flexibility

5-7 years of experience required

What a female candidate hears: Don’t even bother applying unless you have at least five years of experience in this exact technology/industry, even if you bring a lot of other skills to the table

Rock star

We have unrealistic expectations and poor culture, and we’re hoping you’re the magic bullet that will fix all of it


We’re out of touch

We offer vacation, paid holidays, health insurance and 401(k)

Our benefits are just average

What you should include in your job ad:

  • A description of the day-to-day work, team structure and technology stack
  • What problems the worker will solve and opportunities their work will enable
  • Your top three requirements (focus on what really matters!) plus preferred skills clearly marked
  • The word “you,” which is much more engaging to a job ad reader than “the successful applicant,” or “incumbent”

Include these traits only if they’re true:

  • Inclusive culture or workplace—candidates respond better to the word “inclusive” than “diverse”
  • “Work-life balance” will help you attract female candidates, according to Textio research 
  • Flexible and remote work options
  • "Generous vacation, sick and holiday pay"
  • A salary range so people know they’re not wasting their time applying

Read the article: How IT managers use market analytics to up their talent game

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