How to Write an Effective Job Description

We have received floods of job postings for the Alberta Camping Association Job Board. Camp counsellors, kitchen staff, activities leaders, and program directors are required at camps all over the province. As we entered in your job postings in the Find a Job section of the website we thought we would offer a few tips on how to create a standout job description that will be effective in recruiting the ideal people you need on your camp staff team this upcoming summer.

The digital realm has created great opportunities to recruit employees, but at the same time it has create a forum for some pretty tough competition. Not only is your camp competing on camp membership sites like the ACA, you’re also competing against the scores of summer job opportunities posted on sites like Monster.ca or Canada Jobs.

It’s important your job description is clear, concise, specific and complete. You are more likely to recruit qualified candidates if your job description is more detailed. It will weed out those who are just applying for whatever job they can get. Here are some general tips on how to create an effect job description and posting:

Job Title: Create a job title for the position you’re looking to fill. Keep it simple and specific to what the job will actually be and give candidates an idea of what the job will entail before continuing to read the description.

Job Description: In a few sentences, write a description that briefly tells the reader the purpose of the position and a summarized overview of the positions main responsibilities. You may include who the person will be working under and in what department. You should also include the type and duration of employment. “Reporting to the Head Chef, the Assistant Cook will assist with meal preparation, meal clean up, supervising other kitchen staff, and other kitchen-related tasks as directed.”

Type of Employment: Be sure to mention if this position is year-round, seasonal, full or part-time. In the case of camp, you can be really specific with dates. Many applicants will be high school or University students and will need to know if the position fits in with their schedule.

Key Responsibilities: Here is where you should list all the essential functions of the position. Be transparent about each task and how much time and commitment is required for each task.  This will give applicants an idea of what a typical day on the job will be like. The more specific you are the less random of applicants you’ll receive.

Skills & Qualifications: List all of the qualifications or certifications that are mandatory. “Applicants must be over 16 years of age, have Level 1 CPR & First Aid, and experience working with children” Include skills, years of experience, education, and other specific items you need them to have. If you are willing to provide training and certification you can mention it here.

About your Camp: Give a description of your camp and include its location, type of programming offered, camp culture and if it caters to a specific type of camp family (religious, special needs, all-girls, etc).

Contact Details: Believe it or not, this is sometimes missed! Include the contact information of the person who is collecting the applications or doing the hiring. Be specific on how they should apply: “Please send your resume, cover letter and three references to Steve Smith. Email: steve@campabc.ca Phone: 780-555-5555.

More tips:

  • Use bullet points when possible. It makes it easier for people to read.
  • Use specific, clear language. Tell applicants exactly what you are looking for.
  • Make your camp sound fun and awesome! Let some of your camp culture and personality shine through the job description.
Categories: Camp Human Resources, Camp Resources