Leontien Rutenfrans

Marketing Manager Textmetrics
August 20, 2021

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The importance of B1 in job descriptions – Part 1

Four tips to improve the readability of your job ads

Job descriptions that appeal to everyone are an important first step toward a more diverse workforce. You need to reach as many people as possible. As only then can you achieve your ambitious diversity and inclusion goals. Readability is an important issue when it comes to job ads. In recent years, the average reading level has been dropping. But most job ads are still written at a level that only a very small percentage of people can understand. That’s a real problem. What you need to do is write your job ads at B1 level. And follow the tips we give you here! 

This is the first of two articles in which we give you four tips for writing more accessible job descriptions. Discover the first four below.

  1. Keep it simple

The first tip is closely related to the B1 reading level. Most people can read and understand this. Write your job descriptions at B1 level. For this, you’ll need to:

  • Keep your sentences short. 
  • Keep your paragraphs short. 
  • Refrain from using difficult words. 
  • Use plenty of white space. 

Do you succeed in doing so? Then at least 60% of the people can understand your job ads. That’s a huge audience you don’t want to miss out on. 

  1. Write shorter job descriptions

This might come as a surprise, but there is an ideal length for a job description. It varies between 300-600 words. For SEO reasons, 400 words is a good choice. Job ads that have 700+ words receive fewer responses. There is simply too much to read. Short descriptions of less than 150 words aren’t recommended either. Sure, these are understandable, but they often raise eyebrows because people question the importance of the job. 

  1. Use gender-neutral language

Most job ads have a more masculine tone of voice. Do you want the readability to be the same for men and women? Then this is something you should avoid. That’s why you should use gender-neutral language in your job ads. Use ‘you’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’. And choose ‘they’ or ‘parental leave’ instead of ‘maternity leave’. And be careful with the use of words like ‘strong’, which can be considered more masculine. 

  1. Use bullets, numbers and symbols

Even if a job ad has the desired number of words (300-600). It’s still a lot of content to read. So, you shouldn’t just use words. Instead, you should offer readers a break by:

  • Using bullets. Job descriptions have a lot of information that can be formulated in bullets. 
  • Use numbers. Write 3 instead of three.
  • Use symbols, like 700+ instead of more than 700.
  • Use clear and short headings. 

How Textmetrics can help with writing at B1 reading level

You’ve just read four tips to improve the readability of your job ads. And we have more to share with you here. Meanwhile, you can use the Textmetrics platform. The platform uses AI algorithms to assess the readability of your job description. And gives you suggestions to reach the desired B1 level. It also helps you write in a gender-neutral tone of voice. It’s as easy as that. And a big help in reaching your D&I goals.

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