Each job description should include key information, including company details, an overview of job responsibilities, requirements, and any available salary information. “You will want to be specific and direct in terms of job expectations and what you are looking for. You also want to be able to answer candidate questions in the job description to attract qualified candidates and get them excited,” Jack Smith, director of sales recruiting practices at Hirewell, told Forbes Advisor.
When it comes to writing the position for a job description, Smith says it’s best to start with the big picture and then go into the details. “You want to describe the company at a high level and why it would be great to work there. Then you want to immerse yourself in the day-to-day of the account manager role,” he says.
A point to note is that a job description used to advertise a position should be different from one used internally by HR. “It’s very common (and lazy) for businesses to copy/paste their descriptions into ads, which doesn’t work very well,” says James Hornick, partner at Hirewell. “Descriptions are boring internal HR/process documents that describe the duties of a position. An advertisement is like any other advertisement; its purpose is to generate interest, sell the opportunity and get people to apply.
Below is an overview of the key elements that make up a compelling job description to find the right candidate.
Presentation of the position
Here, you will include a brief overview of the position and the role the account manager will play in the big business. A briefing will provide a high-level job description in a few sentences. For example, this section could start with a sentence such as: “We are looking for an Account Manager who will develop existing relationships with our current clients and manage a portfolio of assigned clients.”
Here, you’ll want to include an introductory paragraph about your company so that potential employees have some basic information about the team they’ll be applying to join.
In this section, you describe the specific account manager responsibilities. This section should clearly explain the main objectives of this role. You can also include the role the account manager will report to. Consider including the number of accounts the candidate will manage. On the other hand, if it is a more account maintenance and relationship oriented role, you can specify that here.
Saffro shared a list of the most common account manager responsibilities:
- Manage accounts of all sizes representing your team externally to clients and internally by working with direct reports and support positions
- Develop an in-depth understanding of clients’ position in the market, their product/service, points of difference and the competitive landscape
- Manage feedback and customer feedback for all projects with detailed direction and timelines
- Establish and build strong working relationships with business leaders at all levels
- Manage day-to-day communication with clients and ongoing relationships with regards to current, new and upcoming projects
- As needed, visit clients, attend trade shows and other industry events to take advantage of networking and relationship building opportunities
- Manage and coach the internal team
- Proactively stay connected to customers and the ever-changing marketplace to access new research opportunities and ensure all viable customers are engaged on a regular and effective basis
Skills and Qualifications
Here is a list of skills and qualifications that hiring managers typically look for when looking for an account manager. Skills and qualifications will vary depending on the role and years of experience, but here are some common examples shared by Saffro.
- Preferred bachelor’s degree
- Experience in project management or account management
- Proven ability to contribute consistently and positively in a fast-paced environment
- Ability to communicate effectively with client managers at all levels (C-level up to entry-level support roles)
- Ability to work independently and manage personal and team member time, keeping deliverables and deadlines in mind
- Creative thinking and problem solving skills
- Strong writing, telephone and presentation skills
Preferred Qualifications and Additional Features
A list of preferred qualifications can be a good place to specify certain areas of expertise or degrees that aren’t required for the job but certainly helpful. It can also be a place to add additional characteristics that will help someone excel in this role. Saffro shared his list of favorite qualifications and additional characteristics that make a great account manager.
- They are detail-oriented: Good account managers are usually highly organized, detail-oriented, and productive. They seek to understand the cause and identify solutions that leverage their company’s product or service.
- They ask a lot of questions: strong account managers want to understand what they’re working with. They are generally diligent with research and resourceful in ensuring that they have a full understanding of their clients’ needs.
- They are observers: account managers must be able to detect moods and read body language in order to know their audience and know what to say at the right time.
- They are planners: everyone relies on the account manager to come to meetings prepared with a plan and timeline. They understand that planning ahead will only set themselves, their team and their client up for success.
- They are highly productive: they are good time managers and seek to improve processes and maximize opportunities for high efficiency.
You’ll need to tailor the position to the specific account manager role you’re looking to hire, but the outline above is a great place to start. You may also include other items such as benefits offered by your company, additional information about company values and mission, and/or an equal employment opportunity statement for legal reasons.