In today’s busy tech world, one of the most difficult tasks that managers and business owners face is how to write a good job listing to attract the best developers and convince them to work on their teams.

The most well-known and proven way to find qualified developers for your company is to post job offers on reputable websites.

There are plenty of boards where you can post your listings – but how do you make your software developer job description stand out?

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How to write a good software developer job description

The truth is, developers won’t be particularly impressed with your offer if you just present your requirements and payment rates. Then it looks like every other software job description without any differentiation.

Your listing should be more like an ad than a selection criteria list so that it catches the right eyes.

Be sure to include important details such as perks, company culture, and office space in your job listing.

The description should appeal to developers, and in order to reach their hearts, you have to understand what they care about in a workplace. Once you know that, you can include it on top of the job duties and general description.

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To illustrate the importance of an appealing software developer job description, this is how a boring listing looks:

how a bad software developer job description looks like

Here’s a sample of a good software developer job description:

good software developer job description sample

This article will break down a good job description for a software developer, including what to cover and how to make it appealing to developers.

1. Choose the right formatting and key phrases for your developer job listing

It’s important to start with an effective title that provides potential candidates with the right details about your offer, and to use language and formatting that appeals to a busy reader.

This is especially important if you’re looking to attract someone who’s not actively looking for a position but might consider changing for the right opportunity.

For example, instead of naming your listing “Senior .NET Developer,” you can go for something more descriptive: “Experienced .NET Developer – Join a Small, Innovative Team.”

The second option performs two to three times better on job boards. As you can see, it gives out something about the position and the team without being overly long.

Another factor to consider is your use of bullet points in the listing.

Experts advise to use up to five points, as their readability diminishes afterwards. How to reduce their number?

Be critical about your text and consider whether you need to include every single point, or if you can keep it short.

Consider which points may be obvious and don’t even need to be mentioned so that your listing does not sound redundant and boring.

Also, avoid using cliche phrases like “motivated self-starter,” as this makes software developers cringe on the inside.

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2. Give enough details about the technology and the work process

One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to creating software development job listings is going for the dry approach.

Presenting potential candidates only with job requirements is guaranteed to bury your listing in a sea of similar ones.

Make sure to consult senior developers in your team and include expert information about the technology that team members will work with. Mention if your company is using automated tests or continuous integration, and if you have a QA department.

developers

It can also help to list the environments you are using (such as testing, staging, and beta) and the version of your control system (Git, SVN, Perforce, Mercurial, and the like).

If developers can contribute to open-source projects, don’t forget to mention it in the listing.

Technical details can make a difference for passive candidates, or developers hesitating between job options.

Besides the type of work they’ll get to do and the technology at their disposal, developers care a lot about the processes and management style in the team.

Most professionals would prefer to have another developer as their direct manager, rather than a non-specialist middle-manager.

If you’re using Agile, Scrum or another effective development methodology, underline it in the listing too. Name which Agile project management and issue tracking software you have, as well as whether you hold daily standup meetings where every team member can have a say.

3. Include perks that make your developer job listing stand out

If you decide to only list your requirements in your job offer, I promise you this won’t keep the unqualified candidates away.

What it will achieve, though, is that it will make for an uninspiring posting that has a low chance of attracting talented developers.

If you want to avoid this, go for the perks. Allure top talent by underlining the most impressive benefits that your team offers.

Developers care about the computer and office equipment that will be at their disposal. After all, they will be spending their days using them.

Make sure to list the gear, especially if it’s top notch. In case there are interesting features in your office space, you should also describe the tools and amenities that team members can use.

For example, if you just renovated your office with different wellness amenities, you should definitely mention this in the job listing and outline the great perks that developers can use.

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If you have a budget for industry events, list this and note that you encourage your team members to attend and speak at conferences. The same goes for free or subsidized meals that you offer, as well as the availability of an office gym, or free fitness classes.

In case you provide a more flexible holiday schedule or above the average amount of vacation or paid time off days, that should also go in the perks section of your listing. And most importantly, if your company is a proponent of remote work, don’t forget to list that! It makes a big difference for developers who often prefer telecommuting.

4. Don’t forget to present your company culture

While company culture is not as specific as office and financial perks, it is important for most developers looking for professional and personal development in a new setting.

For many tech specialists, it makes a huge difference when it comes to how formal the office environment is. Many would prefer a more casual setting, where they can come to work in a T-shirt, shorts, or sandals and are not bound by a strict dress code.

developers

If your company supports remote work, be sure to emphasize this point multiple times, even in the title of your description.

Job listings that allow telecommuting receive 250% more applications on average. Developers prefer to have more freedom and flexibility in their work schedule. They would also be interested to know whether team members in your company get to do fun stuff at the office, such as playing video games, ping pong, or foosball.

If you have a close-knit team that often goes out for lunch or hangs out after work, that’s definitely something that should go in your description under culture.

Do you organize team building days or trips? Make sure to write this in the posting, as well.

If you have a company blog post or a story you can share that exemplifies your team’s culture, link to it. This can help potential candidates get a better idea of what it’s like to work with you.

Start crafting your effective job listings

The key to better job postings that attract qualified developers is to understand what matters to potential candidates.

Put the focus on the specifics of the work, perks you offer, the company culture they can be a part of, and the exciting technology that they can work with and contribute to — and you’ll soon see better performing job listings.

Get a more detailed guide if you’re looking at how to hire a PHP developer, Ruby on Rails developer or a WordPress developer.

What is the most important feature of an effective job listing for developers? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

This post was originally published October 10, 2017, and updated July 5, 2019