How to Create a Compelling Job Description

How to Create a Compelling Job Description

Hiring the right person starts with understanding your needs, then synthesizing them into a compelling job description. We use this formula with all of our clients at AVRA, so I thought I’d share it in hopes that other people may find it helpful… because boring job descriptions suck.

Location: obvious, but not always up top

Comp: vital to filter out people who are above your budget

Bennies: the cool kids word for “benefits”

Job Title: A good job title should give a nod to what the role consists of, peak the interest potential candidates and give a sense of what type of experience is required.


  • Director of Truck Team Recruiting (real example from a 1-800-GOT-JUNK req.)
  • Executive Assistant to CEO
  • Director of Pricing Strategy (from Paypal req.)

The Company’s mission:

Our example: AVRA exists to help growing startup’s hire the best people, for the right roles. We take 80% of the hiring funnel process off our client’s plate, so they can focus on the 20% of filtered candidates that matter.

Why this role exists: Who is this person reporting to? Clarify the high-level mission for a particular role and develop no more than a paragraph that describes WHY that role exists.

Outcomes: Develop 3-7 objective outcomes that a potential team member must accomplish to be considered a successful (A player) hire. These should be no more than two or three sentences in length and should be outcome-based, containing an action, an object and a purpose (eg ‘compiles monthly reports to allow monitoring of the department’s budget’).

Required skills + competencies: these are professional

Required qualities: these are personal, character traits

Other Responsibilities: The list of duties and responsibilities will vary in length, but as a rule, should be as short as possible, otherwise the document becomes an operational manual rather than a job description.

Roles in smaller companies (eg office manager) may have more tasks associated with them, due to their ‘all rounder’ nature, but you should still aim to keep your list to around fifteen tasks and preferably less.

About the application: Detailed instructions on how to apply

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Resume (optional depending on role/seniority)
  • Work eligibility within country of job origin.
  • Cover letter (optional): Please submit a cover letter that includes what drew you to this specific role, why you are a fit, and [other questions]


  • Written Screens

We suggest create a full blown recruiting funnel so that the application is just step one, then there are various hurdles a candidate must go through before they speak with someone on the phone or IRL. The difficulty of these hurdles and the amount you can ask upfront is based upon how in demand the job is, the job climate, the pay, and several other variables.


Questions, comments, testimonials?

Feel free to drop me a line at or tweet at me here: @marenkate

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