The Anatomy of a Good Job Description

This is part II of how to attract top quality engineering candidates. This is where we will break down the anatomy of a good job description. As we elaborated previously, a good job description is one of the most important factors of attracting candidates to your company. This may be your only chance to make a good first impression.  

Here's a great example of a solid job description. 

If you're great at what you do... If you have a passion or interest in music... If you want to find a company that really values and appreciates what you can bring to the table... Read on! We have room for young guns as well as senior technical leaders across the company, and are planning to double in size this year. We have a high priority for client-side engineers with experience or interest in mobile development. Catered lunches, great products, great people, and so much more. Offices in Palo Alto and SF; we're hiring in both places.

There's more...

  • Link to a company YouTube video
  • Link to a news article
  • More awesome links

Why us?

  • One of the hottest companies in the mobile space
  • Building world-class iPhone apps, but also a new social network in the cloud for music making
  • Top tier investors, proven management team
  • Experiencing explosive growth

High priority need for iOS Engineers

As an iOS Engineer at XYZ, you'll be crafting our next generation, massively social, massively multiplayer musical creation experience. XYZ's apps are top performers in the iTunes store and in the news - the apps you help create will be enjoyed by millions. Our development cycle is rapid, iterative, and collaborative. We use Objective-C and C++ combined with a powerful suite of in-house RESTful services. Current projects include an unannounced iPhone app + Facebook experience that's going to redefine social music creation.

Must have:

  • Bachelor degree in CS and 2+ years of iOS development in Objective-C and 2+ years experience with C++
  • Self-starter, strong sense of ownership, gets things done!
  • Fun, positive attitude. Great communication skills and a healthy desire for collaboration

These are good too:

  • A knack for creating compelling UI's
  • Game development and design experience
  • Non-trivial experience with the specific tech we use: OpenGL ES, Ruby on Rails, MySQL, RESTful APIs
  • Flexible, cross functional, outstanding learner
  • You're ready, willing, and able to jump into any conquer any challenge at this crazy startup
  • Passion for what we're about: whether it be music, games, social experiences, or outstanding software

Okay, let's break it down. 

Hopefully, that was somewhat easy to follow. What should be clear is that the top section is your pitch, and the bottom deals with the dirty details behind the role's responsibilities and required skills.

Bottom line – you may know how incredibly awesome your company is, but others don't. What you are looking for shouldn't be the subject of your description. The very first thing you should be thinking about is what makes your company a desirable place to work, then think about how you can make this person feel like they're imperative to the growth and success of your company. The last thing you do is talk about your needs. Job and candidate hunting is a highly emotional thing – it's a lot like dating. Nobody likes dating someone who talks about themselves all the time. Put the candidate first, then talk about your needs. 

Happy hunting.

Roumena Kratchunova