Since the start of the pandemic, people have spent twice as much time consuming content globally as they did before. From an average of 3 hours 17 minutes, we've gone to an average of 6 hours 59 minutes.
On the one hand, it's pretty good news for businesses that use content marketing to attract and retain customers. But there is bad news too: Where demand is soaring, so is competition. Publishing high-quality content is a sure-fire way to beat the competition. And that means you need to get better at hiring good writers.
Attracting the best talent has a lot to do with what your job description says. Fortunately, I've got you covered with tips and guidelines on how to write a job description to land an outstanding content writer.
To start with, here are three principles of a great job description:
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If you browse Indeed for content writing jobs, you'll come across the following titles:
These are all good titles. They describe specifically:
Your candidates won’t be able to find your ad without a clear job title. So make sure you do a good job writing it.
The job summary should have a quick overview of your company and expectations for the position. Make sure you open with a strong, attention-grabbing couple of sentences that hook the reader. For example:
Do you love writing and have the chops for technology? This job might just be what you're looking for!
We're looking for an awesome person to write articles about a healthy lifestyle and how it can make people's lives better. Together we'll write real-life stories, expert opinions, tips on living a healthier life, and other wonderful content that deserves to be talked about. If you're fun, creative, smart, and curious, come join us!
Want to break into copywriting? We can help you learn the craft! Participate in our internship program to explore a career in copywriting, learn how to write effective copy, and get a job with no experience.
Are you smart, curious, and creative? Do you like to write, learn new things and create new meanings? We're looking forward to meeting you!
When you talk about your company, make sure your job description explains why a candidate would love to work there. You can include your company's mission, emphasize the importance of your products or services, mention some of your clients, or add some numbers that demonstrate how successful you are.
For example, Github, a popular open-source community for developers, has a mission in the job summary for an Executive Editor position:
We aspire to create engaging content for everyone in GitHub’s 65 million-member (and growing!!) developer community - the makers, hobbyists, students, maintainers, and the people contributing to open source.
Spotify, a music streaming app, talks about what its team does –– and it sounds like they're really doing something important and innovative:
The Greenroom team is redefining the audio ecosystem by directly connecting users through real time conversation.
Don't talk too much about your company in the job summary, though. This might distract the reader. You'll have a whole section about your company at the end of the job description.
Another important part of the job summary is a short but clear description of who you're seeking and what they should do. It's in your best interest to describe the job in a way that makes people looking to get hired as writers feel valued and appreciated.
As a copywriter, you will work as part of our team to create copy for our clients' websites and landing pages. You will be the voice of our clients' brands and responsible for communicating their value propositions to their target audiences. In this position, you will play a vital role in contributing to our clients' business growth.
Here's one more example. This time from Netflix:
We’re looking to hire a creative and highly strategic communications professional and entertainment buff, to join a lean but mighty team that champions the Netflix brand, tells member-first stories, and is focused on relentlessly building and enhancing our reputation across Asia-Pacific. The mandate for the role is to tell content-led brand and consumer stories about Netflix through media, social media and key opinion formers in APAC, be it member value, product innovation or the diversity and world class quality of our catalog.
Many companies do a bad job describing responsibilities in their job descriptions. I often come across two common tendencies: job responsibilities are either too vague or too ballooned, going beyond the writer’s ability to actually meet them.
Both of these tendencies can characterize a company that doesn't have a clear content strategy and operations. This company doesn't really know what they need a writer to do. They just want someone to create content, but because of the lack of a content marketing strategy and an inadequate content creation process, their content will turn out poorly. Of course, they will blame that on the writer and go search for a new one. But it's not the writer they need to blame, it's the company.
Never put the cart before the horse: define your content strategy and get your processes in order. And only then start looking for content writers.
Job responsibilities are what your applicants will expect from this job, and you need to make sure you can meet their expectations.
Here is what your content writer responsibilities might look like:
Tesla's job responsibilities for an Employee Content and Experience Partner sound like this:
Keep in mind that this section shouldn't necessarily be called Responsibilities. You can be creative and use a different word or phrase: Typical Activities, The Work, Your Mission, What Your Typical Day Looks Like. Content writers are creative individuals and they will be enticed by a creative tone of voice.
So how can you list the requirements in your job description?
You can divide job requirements into groups (Excellent English writing skills, Self-discipline, Communication, Experience) and provide explanations as bullet points in each of these groups. For example, Excellent English writing skills mean:
Excellent English writing skills:
Of course, it would be great if you found a writer with experience in your industry. But you should also consider writers who worked in other fields as long as they have a good writing portfolio.
With or without relevant experience, you should always ask applicants to provide you with examples of published articles to evaluate their quality of work. A writing portfolio will help you make a decision whether to invite this writer to a job interview.
The benefits section is very important for attracting the best talent. Today so many writers are looking for jobs where they can work from home, so make sure you include this option in your job description.
This is what your benefits section may look like:
Make sure you don’t only mention employee perks, but also things like career development and people that the writer will work with.
It goes without saying, to apply for a job, you need to send a CV. But if a writer sends a CV without a portfolio, you can’t evaluate their writing skills. It won’t hurt to specify that you need examples of works attached to the resume. Here is an example of a how to apply section for your job description:
Send us your resume with up to 3 examples of your works (preferably landing pages). If you seem like a good fit, we'll arrange an interview via Google Meet. We might send you a short test to examine the skills necessary for this position, such as writing and creativity.
It's a good idea to make things transparent and write what will happen after a candidate sends a resume.
The final section of your job description is information about the company. Here you can talk about what your company does, when it was founded, who it works with, where it has offices, and what’s so special about it.
So there you have it. 7 things you need to include in your job description:
I hope this blog post has helped you write your own perfect job description for a content writer. To make things even easier for you, I've made a template of a job description. You can copy it and adjust to your company.
A list of skillsets that content writers need when applying for a job and growing their careers.
What's the difference between copywriters and a whole bunch of other creative specialists that have something to do with writing and marketing? Time to figure it out!
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