5 Tips for Writing a Software Engineer Job Description

You’re ready to start hiring for your next project but you need the perfect software engineer job description. Worse, you don’t have long: job-seekers only spend 49.7 seconds on your ad to see if it’s a good fit before moving on and only 76.7 seconds with ones that do seem like a good fit, research shows.

There are many engineers in the proverbial sea, after all, but if you want to reel in the very best, you need to put your best foot forward, have the right bait, and cast that line with a sure swing.

1. Be Specific About Your Needs

Vagary is the enemy of attracting great talent. The more specific you are, the more likely you’ll attract the right engineer for your project.

Here are a few questions you should have answers for in your software engineer job description so your dream hire doesn’t have to ask.

Is the job short-term or long-term?

What’s the scope and purpose of the project?

What is the job title?

What kind of platforms, tools, libraries, and languages do they need to be proficient in?

What are the general scope and deliverables for the project?

The more you give your new hire up-front, the better informed they’ll be and the more time it will save you in not having to dismiss under- or over-qualified candidates.

2. Articulate Your Company Vision

There’s a lot of competition for good hires–and for good reason. One way you distinguish yourself is by articulating your company vision clearly.

People like to know who they’re working for. What’s your mission? What do you value and stand for?

What kind of working environment can your dream engineer expect?

Not every office is going to have pool tables and beer taps, but being clear about what your company’s values and culture are like will help your hire know what he or she is getting into and make it more likely they’ll integrate well into the current company culture.

3. Find the Right Tone

Most software engineer job descriptions are boring.

There’s no beating around the bush there.

We’re not saying your job description has to be a four-color comic book, but at least try to show some levity. You can be specific, detailed, and professional, and still be relaxed and maybe even a little funny (here’s a nifty account of some of the more creative job postings out there).

Your tone is a reflection of the workplace attitudes your new employee can expect.

4. Make Your Software Engineer Job Description Aspirational, but Realistic

What we mean by this is that it’s okay to shoot ask the top qualifications for the particular hire you’re looking for, but don’t demand outsized experience and skills that the job doesn’t require. You’ll get overqualified candidates anyway.

You’ll get overqualified candidates anyway, but it reflects better on you as the company looking for a hire if you’re serious about what qualifications are necessary and which are merely desired.

5. Show Them the Money, Jerry

Too often employers play coy about compensation but in a competitive environment, this doesn’t do you any favors. Compensation is often a negotiation, but at least give your future engineer a starting point.

And don’t forget to also talk about other perks and benefits that might not fit a traditional compensation package. You’re selling your company, team, and project to your new hire as much as they’re pitching themselves to you.

Need an IT or engineering professional? We can help.