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The Ultimate Storytelling Structure for Job Descriptions

3 min read.



Employer Branding

I’ve never met a recruiter who enjoyed writing job descriptions.

And who can blame them? The process is bland, time consuming, and after all the hard work, you still end up with a copy-paste version of what your competitors are advertising.

Nevertheless, job descriptions play an important role in the ecosystem of an employer brand. They are out on the front lines compelling talent to take action and apply.

ChatGPT helps to an extent, but its responses still require editing, even with some very specific prompting.

So, why not think of writing job descriptions as crafting a story? Let’s face it, stories are more fun to write, and certainly more engaging to read.

This simple but customisable five-part structure will hook talent’s attention whilst differentiating you from competitors.

Sound good? Let’s dive in.

The Five Part Storytelling Structure for Job Posts

1. Empathy

Human beings feel six times faster than we think, so it’s always a great idea to lead with emotion to get talent invested right from your first sentence.

To do this, draw a connection between the role you’re advertising and the wider company mission or vision. How will the work they do every day at a desk, in the warehouse or on the shop floor make a difference? Every employee subconsciously craves a sense of purpose, impact and belonging from their work, so tap into that intrinsic desire.

Example: At our company, we understand the power of sales in driving business growth. As a Senior Sales Representative, you will play a crucial role in our mission to empower businesses and individuals by offering innovative solutions and outstanding service.

2. Curiosity

Now your audience are invested in role, it’s time to double-down and get them curious by sharing something specific about your team that will pique their interest.

Their role may share similarities with competitor’s roles, but remember, your team are totally unique.

Consider your team’s USP. Is it that they’re fiercely ambitious? Always pushing to get the best from each other? Or perhaps there’s a real sense of loyalty and collaboration. Whatever it is, capitalise on your company’s most unique and compelling asset – its people.

Example: Join a dynamic sales team that thrives on collaboration and creativity. We foster an environment that encourages new ideas, continuous learning, and personal growth. You'll work alongside talented professionals who share a passion for exceeding targets and delivering exceptional customer experiences.

3. Surprise

Next, you want to highlight an aspect of the role that will surprise the audience and differentiate it from similar roles at other companies.

Clearly present the 'Give and Get' proposition, emphasizing what the person must bring to the role to thrive and enjoy the benefits, including aspects of resilience to face any harsh realities.

Using ‘unlike’ as a sentence starter can be helpful here.

Example: Unlike traditional sales roles, our Senior Sales Representatives have the opportunity to work closely with product development teams, providing valuable insights and shaping future offerings. This collaborative approach allows you to contribute directly to product enhancements and impact the customer journey in unprecedented ways.

4. Insight

Only now that you’ve set the stage with emotion and intrigue are your audience primed for logical, tangible details.

At this point, provide specific details about the role's capabilities, standards, duties, and expectations.

Clearly summarize why people stay in this role at your company with specific ‘get’ elements that are particularly valued by people in this team and role.

Example: As a Senior Sales Representative, you will leverage your exceptional communication skills, industry expertise, and deep understanding of our products to build strong customer relationships. You will be responsible for driving sales through strategic account management, identifying new opportunities, and delivering persuasive presentations. Your success will be measured by achieving revenue targets, maintaining customer satisfaction, and continuously improving your sales techniques.

5. Action

Write a summary that ties everything together, including a strong, tailored call to action. It helps to call back to what applicants must be willing to ‘give’ to excel in the role, to further deter unsuitable candidates.

Example: If you are a driven, results-oriented individual with a passion for sales and a desire to make a significant impact, we invite you to apply for the role of Senior Sales Representative. Join our team and unlock your full sales potential while enjoying a competitive salary, comprehensive benefits package, and endless opportunities for growth.

One last thought…

Look at your job descriptions as storytelling. You’re taking candidates through a journey, of which they are the hero.

This 5-step story structure may not be a silver bullet, but, when tested against more traditional structures, we have seen significantly higher engagement, dwell times and conversion rates.

It’s a safe pair of hands which can be tailored to suit your personas.

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