Top IT Job Description Mistakes


Securing the right IT job and retaining top IT talent starts at one place: the job description. Debating this is like trying to figure out what came first; the chicken or the egg?  It’s the sole key to finding the right person for the job; the wrong description will lead you to the wrong candidate, guaranteed. Your description should literally describe what is needed to accomplish the job. Many job descriptions leave out key points such as requirements or essential functions of the position. Often times we even see descriptions that are out of date and haven’t been reviewed in a few years. Not taking the time to comb through your job descriptions is hurting not only the candidate but your candidate search as well.


Being in this industry for over a decade now, I’ve come across various mistakes when reviewing IT job descriptions. The following are actual examples from my ten years of recruiting on technical positions. Following the famous Late Show with David Letterman, let’s break down the Top IT Job Description Mistakes:

The number five…

job description mistake is spelling mistakes. This is an unfortunate oversight to whomever is sending out the job description but it does happen.

The number four…

job description mistake is using a title that does not reflect the duties of the position. I have seen numerous jobs labeled as Analyst, Business Analyst or Systems Analyst that would be better categorized with a skill set. For example, if you are looking to hire a Business Analyst who has experience in HIPAA and claims, the title should be HIPAA Claims Analyst.

The number three…

job description mistake is recycling an old job description that is years out of date. There is a reason the position is open. Fix the job description and you will find the right person!  If it is due to a promotion, the person who was in that role should be able to provide accurate information on what it takes to be successful in that position- use it in the job description. If it’s due to growth- determine what is working in the department and include those attributes in the job description. If you have an opening due to someone vacating the role, take a hard look at the department and determine why the person left, or was let go. Take time to revamp the description so that is reflects the current needs of your business. If the description truly matches the job it will give you a better shot at hiring a more long-term employee.

The number two…

job description mistake is writing a novel for a job description. Just to clarify- three pages to summarize a position is way too much.  Break down the job description to include daily responsibilities, technical skills required to perform these duties, and the characteristics that are important for this role. There will always be nice-to-have added, but it’s often hard for applicants and recruiters to determine how “nice” is nice to have. Using words such as “preferred” and “required” and “a plus” will better rank the skills listed.

And the number one…

mistake in an IT Job Description is….drum roll…giving one incomplete sentence, providing one IT skill and expecting the perfect match. This needs no elaboration.
ex: Web Developer with .Net


For the Managers and Human Resource departments that are putting a job description for your next new IT hire, take the time to research, gather information and analyze your job description before posting. This will keep you off the list of Top IT Job Description Mistakes and allow you to hire your ideal person faster and more efficiently.

Having trouble with your job description? EDI Staffing can help.


About Gretchen Ponte

Gretchen began her career in the non-profit sector, moving into the staffing industry over eleven years ago. She has worked for EDI Staffing for ten of those years, primarily working on EDI and IT contract and permanent positions in the Tri-State area spanning various industries.

Gretchen is a graduate of Bridgewater State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She enjoys working with a diverse population of candidates and striving to find the best match for their career and skill set. Gretchen participates in the EDI Nation blog with advice for job seekers. She works hand-in-hand with candidates on how to improve their resume and provides interviewing tips in order to best secure employment. In her free time, Gretchen enjoys spending time with family, volunteering with the local schools and attending educational community activities.

One Response to “Top IT Job Description Mistakes”

  1. Tom Hart

    These mistakes are far too common. In the IT field specifically, an outdated job description is obvious since technologies are always changing. This is a big turn off to a potential applicant.


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