What are the absolute bare minimum skills someone needs to do this job? This isn’t a laundry list of everything you would like someone to have, it’s a “Please don’t apply if you can’t do this” list. Try to keep it to 4 one sentence bullet points or less.
Think of it this way: for every requirement you add, you’re tacking 2 weeks onto the time it will take you to fill the position. Requirements are your knock out criteria. For example, for an administrative assistant position, you probably want someone who is personable, organized, and proficient in MS Office. Having 10+ years of administrative assistant experience or a background in the insurance industry are nice to have, but not requirements. Even worse, listing them as requirements could stop you from finding great, qualified candidates from other industries.
Rank your requirements in order of importance, with the most important first. If you completed the wish list from the Getting Started [link] section, this part should be easy, just use the first 4 items from the list.
Nice to Have
The reason most job descriptions aren’t very good is that most people spend 90% of the time on this laundry list and label them “requirements.” The nice to have list should take up less than one third of the entire job description and you should spend no more than 10% of your time on it.
Try to list no more than 10 bullet points describing things that it would be great if candidates knew. If you completed the Getting Started list, these are items 5-15.
Resist the temptation to give this too much time and real estate in your posting. It won’t help you generate great candidates- we promise. Any remaining “nice to haves” should go into your interview script, not your posting. Great job descriptions are short and inspirational, not long checklists.