The Singaporean employer’s guide to copywriting for effective job descriptions

Sophia Lee
Sophia Lee
September 28, 2018

Effective job descriptions don’t look like job manuals, even if they do feature duties and responsibilities. We know: you’re looking for the perfect candidate.  

You don’t want anyone who can’t fully serve their function – how else will your department scale and grow? Hiring the wrong person, to you, might be worse than hiring no one at all. Especially if you have to fire them and search all over again. The solution? Getting it right the first time with effective job descriptions.

What goes into effective job descriptions? Great copywriting, of course

Copywriting has one sole purpose: to convince someone of something you’re offering. For marketers, they’re convincing their target audience to exchange their hard-earned money for a product or service. For you, the employer, this is vital if you want to attract as many candidates as possible.

Recruiting isn’t a one way thing. Candidates have to make a decision as much as you do when you choose who to call up for interviews. You need to sell your job role as much as candidates are selling their skills and competencies to you.

How to do that lies in how well you craft your effective job descriptions. Let’s get into five main principles of great copywriting that anyone can pick up today.

The road to copywriting like a pro

effective job descriptions
  1. Getting your headline done first

The headline is the first thing readers will look at – always. And more often than not, it’s the one thing that will determine whether or not they want to read the rest of your job listing.

Make your headline – or job title – as catchy and attention-grabbing as possible. Instead of simply writing ‘Technical Engineer’, try something more attuned to the millennial senses like ‘Technical Engineering Whiz’. It doesn’t hurt to use an emoji here and there, too.

  1. Doing your first draft – without overthinking it

The first draft is always the hardest, because we all share one universal fear: that our writing isn’t actually all that great.

That might be true, but no one’s a perfect writer. And without your first draft, you’ve got nothing at all. So get to writing – and just let your thoughts flow freely. Put all your thoughts and points to paper and ink before letting your editor (or yourself) have a second look.

  1. The edit process

Now after you’ve taken some time away from that dreadful first draft, take a look at your job listing one more time. Then take a look at it a second time, and a third, and so on… until all your issues and problems with the first draft have been rectified and improved upon. This long process is called editing, and is crucial to achieving great copy – no matter what you’re writing.

  1. Refine your very first sentence

After everything’s been done, go back to the top of your job listing. Look at the very first sentence, and think about how you can refine it and make it even better than before.

Much like your headline, the first sentence is crucial to completely getting your reader’s attention. And if you want millennial candidates to chew through your entire job listing and send you their application at the end of it, this is something you’ve got to do.

You’re now well on your way to writing the best copy and the most effective job descriptions any candidate’s ever seen out there. When you’re ready to ramp up your hiring efforts, check out SkillsFuture’s Earn and Learn Programme to find the best young talent out there.

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