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How to Write Job Descriptions for Developers

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ByPor Shannon Cantor

Shannon’s craving for knowledge inspired her studies in languages and literature, and has ultimately driven her into a career of research and writing. She has spent the past years immersed in conversations surrounding IT business strategy, creating content that synthesizes these concepts and enhances our understanding of them. She is a published academic author, content specialist, and--in her “free” time-- project manager in the non-profit sector.

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With a booming age of digital transformation, the demand for software engineers is outgrowing the supply. Companies need job descriptions for developers that attract top talent– with clear requirements, intriguing tasks, and precise company representations. With well-written and attractive postings, an enterprise’s greatest IT need can be the start of a win-win partnership for all. 

A job description aims to create a concise summary of an employment opening, giving potential applicants an idea of the position’s tasks; goals; and required experience, knowledge, and skills. It also provides information about the company and is written in a way that draws candidates to apply. 

If a software developer job description is written clearly and concisely, accessible for quick interpretation of the facts, it can catch even the most head-hunted talent on the market. It is the face of the company and first impression presented to potential new staff– the “make or break” of resource recruitment. 

When considering writing job descriptions, however, we must know the current IT job market– which isn’t a clear-cut situation. While the combined forces of digital transformation and a tech-reliant worldwide pandemic push the demand for experienced software developers, the general economic collapse (also COVID related) has not left the IT industry unscathed. In fact, tech jobs have dropped significantly compared to 2019: in August, a record of 102,900 tech jobs were recorded as lost in 2020. However, in current months, these jobs are being quickly recuperated, with this number now having dropped to only 75,000 (Gruman & Mingis, 2020). What does this mean? That of all the pan-industrial economic loss that the world has suffered in 2020, the IT industry is making its quick and not-too-surprising bounce back. Now, more than ever, it is vital to post software engineer job descriptions that bring in the right talent. 

Writing a Job Description that Attracts the Right Candidate

Successful job descriptions powerfully attract candidates, but not just any ones. In order to save time and resources for recruitment teams, software developer job descriptions should pull in the talent that will comfortably meet all skill requirements, fit within the project budget, and jive with company culture and team members.   

So, how to draw in the right ones and weed out the wrong? It’s less difficult than you might think. But you do need a few key elements that will make the description stand out– and to the right people. 

  1. Clear-cut Organization

You want the information being presented to be as accessible and easy-to-digest as possible. Job descriptions should never be formatted in long and unwieldy paragraphs; rather, use bulleted lists and clearly defined sections. Use headings, even subheadings when appropriate. 

Also make sure to pre-organize your job description sections with the right kind of information. You want to first present a short phrase that will catch the reader’s eye. Then, a very quick position summary, position expectations, requirements, and skills; benefits and logistics; and finally a quick representation of the company. Of course, don’t forget to end with an enticing call to action to apply, and a link to do so. 

  1. IT Industry Voice 

Writing software developer job descriptions looks quite differently than writing descriptions for other industries. All good writing knows its audience, and the creators of software engineer job descriptions must also understand the voice and tone prolific in the IT industry. You want to write with a fresh and inviting tone, which seeps creativity in its wording, without edging on unprofessional. 

Be informative and direct, using the exact program and language names that are required for the position. Don’t shy away from technical jargon; in fact, use it to be more specific about your expectations and to show that your company is expert in the industry.   

  1. Precise Expectations 

As far as content within the job description, be clear about what you expect from candidates. Consult with the department head or hiring manager who best knows the position, in order to get a precise list of the technical stack required. 

You also want to consult about the day-to-day duties that will be performed, as well as any previous experience that is highly desired. 

If you lay out exactly what is expected, what will be done, and what the candidate will gain from the position; you’re more likely to find applicants who fit the perfect mold. 

  1. Enticing Benefits 

Make your company alluring. In everything you write, present a culture that is accepting and supportive, in an environment that is team-oriented and built to spur professional opportunities. 

It is helpful to include a short section listing the benefits of joining your team: competitive salary, professional growth, travel opportunities, health insurance, etc. 

Benefits are, of course, physical and economic perks; but they also include the entire company environment and culture. People want to be part of a movement, contributing to projects that matter, and belonging to a community that motivates them to grow. All of these aspects should be subtly highlighted throughout the job description. 

Conclusion 

All these tips for a successful software developer job description are well and good. But what do they look like when applied? 

Here is a basic example from WebCreek, a global IT outsourcing company that’s got it right: 

Is your passion building quality software?

Then opportunity has arrived! 

WebCreek is looking for junior-level software developers with a strong command of SQL, Microsoft .NET Core, and Angular 5+.

What You’ll Contribute:

  • Expertise in Google applications (Drive, Docs, Sheets, Calendar, etc)
  • Produce clean and efficient code, based on system requirements
  • Develop software applications that exceed client expectations
  • Adhere to coding standards defined by Technical Team Management
  • Analyze and test applications before launch to production environment
  • Troubleshoot coding problems to ensure a productive workplace
  • Participate in stand-ups and WebCreek University’s Mentorship Program 
  • Excellent English communication skills (B2 or higher)
  • 1+ year of experience in a Software Engineer role

What You’ll Gain:

  • Full-time position 
  • Many great programs and benefits, including private health insurance
  • Flexible work environment
  • International team with opportunities to work in different countries
  • USA travel for training, with work sponsorship
  • Competitive salary with regular revisions 

WebCreek is a provider of world-class software development teams and technical staff augmentation. We serve many of the fortune 2000 and other leading organizations, including Hewlett-Packard, Nike, NASA, and Shell. Employment opportunities are available in Houston (USA), San Diego (USA), Denver (USA), Miami (USA), Quito (Ecuador), Lviv (Ukraine), Lima (Peru), Medellin (Colombia), Mexico City (Mexico), Angeles (Philippines), and Barcelona (Spain). 

It’s time to take your career to the next level!

Apply now

Notice that the description is precise, with short paragraphs that grab attention, and detailed lists that show industry expertise and lay down clear expectations. The language is engaging and the invitation clear. For those who fill the requirements, great benefits await alongside a company that can truly take its staff far. 

With the exigent nature of IT projects and the competition on the job market, you can afford no time wasted in securing good candidates. Condensing your job description and luring in the perfect candidate is the first, oh-so-vital step to project success.

Works Cited 

Gruman, G., & Mingis, K. (2020, November 10). US IT jobs continue to recover from pandemic losses, salaries remain mixed. Retrieved November 10, 2020, from https://www.computerworld.com/article/3542681/us-it-jobs-gain-for-second-month-in-pandemic-recovery.html