Helpful job descriptions

Published at Jan 29, 2021

Finding new people is an essential part for every team. Though, too many job descriptions fail to empathize with the reader and lack information. Why don’t we all make job descriptions more helpful?

We are currently writing a new job description, so it’s an excellent chance to share what we put into those and see if we are missing something, too.

Introduce your team

Say what you are doing, a generic “changing the world” is not sufficient here. Look for what’s special about your company and write what others can’t.

Describe where you see the position in the team

Describe what’s a typical project and how a project team would work. People want to know how they can help in the offered position and which roles they will work with.

State your believes in that area

Make a clear statement about what you think is vital to shine in that field and your priority. That’s how you attract people sharing those values.

Add explicit tasks

That’s probably the essential part of the job description. I mean, that’s what you want to hire someone for, don’t you? Though, too many write things like „help us to advance.” For example, be more helpful in writing a list of tasks that people in that position had in the past.

Prioritize your requirements

You will probably write down more requirements than anyone can bring in. That is okay. Chances are there are even better candidates than you could ever imagine, and maybe they have a slightly different set of skills and experiences, though. Make clear what is really important to you and what is a nice addition.

Be clear about the place of work

It shouldn’t be a surprise that people like to know where they can work. Do you expect everyone to be on-site, even in a pandemic? Hint: You shouldn’t. Or do you support people working in their home office? How often do you expect them to be in the office? Or are you open to remote work? If yes, from which countries and timezones? Those are all questions we received when we were too vague about the place of work.

Offer things that others don’t

Every job description we wrote sparked a new idea for a perk we could add. You can do that too. If you value the humans working with you, listen to them and be at least a little bit empathic. Then it shouldn’t be too hard to add things others do not offer.

One thing we offer and I’m pretty sure should be doable for every other company, is our 1,000 € educational budget. People can use this budget to learn new things, and it comes with enough blocked time to dive into the material, courses, or whatever people pick.

Honestly, this is what every company should invest in their employees anyway. But making it official shows you invest in the people and their development, not only in the development of your company. Though, not many seem to have this.

Be transparent about the salary

For reasons, people aren’t used to talk about salaries. But that is stupid and does not help anyone. Also, we are on a mission to change that.

Just share what you plan to pay for the position and if it’s too embarrassing, offer at least a little more. If you can’t offer more, don’t look for someone, it’s wasting everyone’s time anyway.

Offer working part-time

Life is more important than business. There shouldn’t be a good reason you don’t offer part-time. Be clear about your expectations. Add a range like 30-40 hours, for example. Or if it’s not possible (believe me, it is possible), be clear about that too. Working part-time can be crucial for many reasons, and being forced to ask for it is intimidating.

Tell what you expect in an application

Let people know what you want to find in an application, and don’t add things you don’t even look at anyway.

We are a small team and probably different in many regards, that’s why we like to see an excellent cover letter. You have to like how we tick. We don’t need people who just want to work, we need people who want to work with us.

Write down your application process

Write down all steps an applicant has to take—bonus points for a realistic timeline.

Let me add something here: Answer all applications. Applying for a job can feel like going through a nude scanner. People share their whole life, their work, and probably even a part of their life plans. The least you can do is to reply with a short message.

Acknowledge there is a pandemic going on

We all know there is this pandemic going on. Because of that, there are a ton of questions regarding the application process. Please write down if you expect people to come to the office for a personal conversation (you shouldn’t).

Keep it short

I know, I know. That’s a ton of things to add. It’s still possible to keep it short. Just remove all the fluff and everything which doesn’t contain helpful information. And you know what? If you don’t write a helpful job description, you will waste way more time on both sides.


Writing helpful job descriptions is good for anyone. It probably won’t give you more applications, but it’ll give you better applications.

I’m sure we forgot something here, though. Please send an email to and point out what we should add! We’re happy to update the list. Let’s all make applying for a job less intimidating!