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Writing magnetic job descriptions: 10 tips to captivate top talent

Written by Nuskha Semaun on 15 August 2023 for Companies

When it comes to technical jobs today, the demand far outweighs the supply. Graduates and talent with technical skills have their jobs for the taking. So how can you get their attention in a sea of similar job descriptions? How can you make your organisation stand out? And how can you inspire talented people to apply for the position you’re offering? Here are 10 tips on writing an effective and captivating job description that will attract top candidates!

#1 Think like a candidate

Employers today are not in a strong position to grill candidates or scare them off with scrolls of duties and requirements. Turn it around: why should the candidate choose you? Why should they come work for you instead of your competitor? Find the right angle to hook your candidates, just like you would a sales lead. What do you offer that they should really want? Throughout the whole job description, try to think from the perspective of the candidate.

#2 Emphasise flexibility

Recent LinkedIn research reveals that a growing generation of professionals are no longer willing to compromise on their values and priorities. A whopping 87% of Gen Z and Millenial employees are willing to leave a job in order to join a company that’s more in sync with their values and lifestyle. Flexibility is very important for professionals today, so highlight any flexibility you offer: from fluctuating hours to working from home and everything in between.


#3 Explain your company culture and company values

LinkedIn is developing a new search filter so candidates can search actively on company values. For Millennials and Gen Z, a positive and inclusive work environment is generally important. Don’t hesitate to describe your company culture in your job vacancy and highlight initiatives that foster inclusion, employee engagement and well-being. This way you can use the new LinkedIn search filter to your advantage.

#4 Use clear and concrete language

Avoid generic descriptions like “self-starter” or “team player” without providing concrete examples or context. Descriptions that lack specificity can fail to attract qualified candidates. This already starts with the job title: choose a concise and accurate job title that reflects the position’s responsibilities and level of seniority. Avoid using jargon or technical terms without explanation – unless of course it’s something everyone applying for this position should reasonably know.


#5 Limit the requirements to bare necessities

Clearly outline the essential skills and qualifications required for the role. Specify technical skills (e.g., programming languages, software proficiency) as well as soft skills (e.g., communication, problem-solving). However, stick to the essentials. Focusing too much on a long list of requirements can discourage potential candidates who may possess transferable skills or a willingness to learn. Be mindful of the difference between “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.”

#6 Highlight learning & growth opportunities

Opportunities for growth are very important for potential candidates – in some cases even more so than salary. Especially Gen Z and Millennials are motivated by opportunities to learn and progress in their careers. Make sure to outline advancement paths and learning opportunities within the organisation. Do you offer training programmes? Is there an allocated training budget? If this is a starter or young professional position, what are the possible next steps? Make a reference to those possibilities in your job vacancy and offer the candidates some perspective for the future.


#7 Emphasise mentorship and coaching

Mentors are not only essential to the growth of young professionals, they also have a big impact on employee happiness! According to a 2019 CNBC survey, 90% of employees who have a career mentor are happy at work. At Exellys, growth and wellbeing are priorities, too. That’s why every consultant has their own coach (someone we call a Talent Development Manager). From our own experience, we can attest to the facts that the personal coaching and training programmes help our consultants progress twice as fast. So in your next job vacancy, highlight any mentorship or coaching available. This can be a significant draw for candidates looking to enhance their skills and grow personally as well as professionally.

#8 Focus on what sets you apart from your competitors

Candidates want to understand what makes your company unique and why they should choose to work for you. Showcase your company’s values, mission, company culture, vision, achievements, … If who you are speaks to them, then there might just be a match. Because it’s not just about attracting talent, it’s about attracting the RIGHT talent.



#9 Communicate the application process

This is something that is often forgotten, but make sure to provide clear instructions on how candidates can apply for the position. Specify the required documents, submission method, and any deadlines. Failing to do so can create confusion and result in missed applications. Besides this, it’s also nice to write a few sentences on what candidates can expect for the rest of the application process. How many interviews? How many days or weeks until they know your decision? Knowing these things in advance can set candidates’ minds at ease.

#10 Don’t forget to proofread!

Typos, grammatical errors, and inconsistencies in job descriptions can reflect poorly on your organisation’s professionalism and attention to detail, and can really put talented candidates off. So always proofread and edit your job vacancies before posting them, preferably using the four eyes principle: have someone else go over your text before sending it out into the world. They may spot something you keep missing.



Vacancies that mention values like culture, flexibility and well-being are being viewed nearly 3 times as much than 2 years ago, and get twice as many applications. Despite using these key words, always write your vacancies from the perspective of the candidate. What’s interesting for them? What can you tell them that will make them curious about your company? Highlight mentorship and coaching efforts, learning and growth opportunities, using clear and concise language. Last but not least, include next steps and don’t forget to proofread!