One Sneaky Trick for Writing a Job Description

I’ll let you in on a little secret: You don’t have to be a world-class writer to put together a great resume. While most professional resume writers are above average writers, the best-of-the-best possess two key elements – 1) They understand how a resume should be structured given each client’s unique background and skill set, and 2) They are resourceful and able to find important information that makes the writing process much, much easier.

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As we discussed in the third installment of How to Write an Awesome Executive Resume, writing a job description for each position is critical as recruiters and hiring managers need to be able to understand what the job entailed, what your primary responsibilities were, and how your role fit into the organization as a whole.

When most people think about how they can summarize what their role entails into a few sentences, they draw a blank. Or conversely, they make a list of 20 different things that fall under the job description and end up with too much information that overwhelms the reader.

So what’s the trick to writing a great job description? The trick is that chances are somebody else has already written one for you. You just need to find it and tweak it to make it your own. For example, if you’re an VP of Human Resources for a mid-sized company, you should be able to go to one of the aggregate job search engines (I recommend Indeed.com) and search for “VP of Human Resources”. Dozens of postings should come up and you just need to find the one that most closely matches what you do.

Find the top two or three sentences that describe the role at a high level and include a final sentence of your own that details very specific information such as the number of direct reports beneath you, budget responsibilities, etc.

Don’t make writing a job description harder than it needs to be. Leverage the power of the Internet and find one that somebody else spent a lot of time and effort to write. Don’t plagiarize! Make each sentence your own, but feel free to use the basic framework that you see online.

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