What the U.S. President Can Teach Us About Job Descriptions

January 22, 2014

Don’t take this the wrong way, but I read job descriptions to help me fall asleep at night. Seriously – I do. 90% of the time, they’re a total snooze fest.

I know, I know – amongst so many other tasks, it’s hard to find time to improve them. So most often recruiters copy, paste, and post. But here’s a little secret - job descriptions that read like Moby Dick are costing companies good candidates. And they are wasting more of your, the recruiter’s, time.

Once in awhile though, I come across a job that makes me jump out of bed. Have you seen this one?

President of the United States of America

This is the hardest and most important job you’ll ever have. 

As a renowned world leader, you will manage millions of people and trillions of dollars. There will be at least 1,548,335 issues vying for your attention at any given time, so you will have to make decisions, sometimes life-or-death ones, at lightning speed. You’ll be so busy that you won’t have time to sleep.           

You’ll need thick skin too. World wars, tsunamis, healthcare reform, you name it, people will blame you. They will criticize you. They’ll tell lies about you. They may try to fire you. Some may even try to kill you. And good luck trying to get anything done – your colleagues will be constantly bickering. 

On a typical day, you’ll find yourself shaking hands with people who love you, dodging questions from people who hate you, and trying to undo everything that your predecessor did. We can assure you you’ll never die of boredom. 

Our top performers have big dreams and even bigger egos. They know how to sound confident even when they’re not. They know how to answer questions without really answering them.

It’s not all business around here though. We like to relax too. We’ll give you an extravagant black tie welcome bash, a vacation home, and a super-cool airplane that can take you anywhere. 

You’ll need to relocate to Washington D.C., but we’ll cover your room and board. Your house will be so big that you can use a different bathroom every day of the month, and you’ll get a beautiful oval-shaped office. You’ll enjoy round-the-clock transportation and security, per the death threats mentioned above.

We discriminate on the basis of age: you have to be 35 years old.

The competition for this role is fierce, so we have a rigorous interview process. In fact, it lasts about two years long, costs millions of dollars, and takes place on the world stage. If you do or say something stupid, the world will hear about it.

Are you up for the challenge? We want to hear from you.

You may not be hiring the next President of the U.S. but your candidates deserve to read a great job description. Forget the boring skills checklist and learn how to make your job descriptions irresistible with this ebook.

* image by MCS@flickr

tricks for improving job descriptions