Writing for hiring

Cassie joined Clearleft as a junior front-end developer last year. It’s really wonderful having her around. It’s a win-win situation: she’s enthusiastic and eager to learn; I’m keen to help her skill up in any way I can. And it’s working out great for the company—she has already demonstrated that she can produce quality HTML and CSS.

I’m very happy about Cassie’s success, not just on a personal level, but also from a business perspective. Hiring people into junior roles—when you’ve got the time and ability to train them—is an excellent policy. Hiring Charlotte back in 2014 was Clearleft’s first foray into hiring for a junior front-end dev position and it was a huge success. Cassie is demonstrating that it wasn’t just a fluke.

Alas, we can’t only hire junior developers. We’ve got a lot of work in the pipeline right now and we’re going to need a full-time seasoned developer who can hit the ground running. That’s why Clearleft is recruiting for a senior front-end developer.

As lead developer, Danielle will make the hiring decision, but because she’s so busy on project work right now—hence the need to hire more people—I’m trying to help her out any way I can. I offered to write the job description.

Seeing as I couldn’t just write “A clone of Danielle, please”, I had to think about what makes for a great front-end developer who uses their experience wisely. But I didn’t want to create a list of requirements, and I certainly didn’t want to create a list of specific technologies.

My first instinct was to look at other job ads and take my cue from them. But, let’s face it, most job ads are badly written, and prone to turning into laundry lists. So I decided to just write like I normally would. You know, like a human.

Here’s what I wrote. I hope it’s okay. I don’t really have much to compare it to, other than what I don’t want it to be.

Have a read of it and see what you think. And if you’re an experienced front-end developer who’d like to work by the seaside, you should apply for the role.

Have you published a response to this? :



Read the description. As a Senior Front-End Engineer I’ve seen my share of job descriptions and they are almost all really bad. Yours is surprisingly pleasant to read! Great job writing like a human 👏 💯


Yes, you should be. I should have pieced that together probably but didn’t - I think you’ll get great results from that.

Bruce Lawson

and now, after I wrote “could it be you”, the first (and only) verse of a song I started writing decades ago with that title has lodged in my brain. Catchy ditty though I say so myself. Must finish it…


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Previously on this day

4 years ago I wrote Separated at death

Farewell, doppelgänger.

6 years ago I wrote Chüne

Churn on, Chüne in, chrop out.

10 years ago I wrote Making Workshops for the Web

Behind the scenes of the latest Clearleft site.

11 years ago I wrote Authors On Tour — Live!

For your huffduffing pleasure.

12 years ago I wrote Ten songs titles that could be Twitter updates

The kind of list that’s too geeky for McSweeney’s.

13 years ago I wrote The Best Songs I Acquired in 2006 Ever

Following Richard’s lead.

15 years ago I wrote DHTML is dead. Long live DOM Scripting.

Just in case I haven’t completely hammered the point home lately, I have a feeling that 2005 is going to see a big surge in the use of the Document Object Model with JavaScript.

17 years ago I wrote I've seen fire and I've seen rain

…but mostly rain.

18 years ago I wrote Which Kevin Smith character are you?

Excellent! I am Silent Bob, apparently:

18 years ago I wrote Biz Stone: Wrong Font

Take a look at this picture of a storefront, it’s a great example of how not to choose a font.