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Blog>Guides>How to Write a Job Description

How to Write a Job Description

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Job descriptions play a vital role in the recruiting and hiring of employees. Not only does the description outline the responsibilities and duties of a particular position in an organization, but it also reflects the employer’s mission, values, and work culture.

While job descriptions must convey a lot of information, they should simultaneously be specific, relevant, and concise. This will help you attract quality employees by clearly defining the role and its expectations. It also makes it easier to evaluate candidates because you can easily compare their experience with the job requirements.

To write an effective job description, follow these tried-and-true steps.

List the Job Title

The job title is the initial text a candidate will read, so it's essential that it be both descriptive and accurate. Your goal is to get the candidate’s attention, making sure that they have a general sense of what type of role it is.

The employee's role should also match up with the title, so ensure that the scope of the position is clear. A position for an editor with managerial duties, for example, should probably include the word “manager” — as opposed to “writer,” “assistant,” or “specialist.”

Describe the Role

After the job title, give a clear sense of the main tasks involved in the role. Begin with a brief explanation of what the job entails, then list the primary responsibilities and tasks.

For example, an editor for a magazine may be tasked with producing excellent monthly issues that attract readers and subscribers. Responsibilities for achieving that goal may include recruiting and hiring writers, editing copy, and defining a content calendar. Make sure to list all the major obligations the person in this role will be expected to perform so that candidates have the full picture of the position before they apply.

Explain the Skills Required

A list of required skills is a crucial part of the job description. Be specific about which skills are most necessary, and how important they are for the role. Consider including both hard skills, such as expertise in working with specific software or experience working in a particular geographic area; and soft skills, such as strong writing abilities and attention to detail.

Define the Necessary Level of Experience

As you write the job description, consider the level of experience and education required to be successful in this role. If you choose to list an educational requirement, make sure it's a realistic one. Additional work experience, after all, might be even more valuable than a formal degree.

Similarly, keep experience requirements relevant to the role. Entry-level roles, for example, generally shouldn’t require a lot of prior work experience — if any at all. Don’t make requirements unnecessarily high and end up discouraging qualified candidates from applying for the position.

Outline the Benefits and Perks

Include an overview of the benefits that come with taking the position and becoming part of your organization. Consider providing a list of your company’s employee benefits. Common benefits include:

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance

  • Life insurance

  • Flexible spending accounts (FSA)

  • Paid time off (PTO)

  • 401(k) matching program

Many organizations also offer a number of additional perks, such as:

  • Remote working opportunities

  • Flexible schedules

  • Education assistance

  • Parental leave

  • Childcare

  • Pet insurance

If your organization offers a large number of benefits, consider breaking up the list into sections to make them easier to navigate. For example, a list of traditional benefits could fall under “Benefits at Work,” while non-traditional ones might be listed under “Perks We Enjoy.”

Provide a Summary of Company Culture, Mission, and Values

To hire the best-fit candidates for your company, include details about the company itself. This information can help applicants understand what kind of culture exists at your company and imagine how they might fit into it.

Company descriptions should be brief but informative. By reading it, candidates should be able to get a fairly detailed picture of what it would be like to join the organization. If the job description simply doesn’t allow for enough space to fully unpack the company culture and describe its mission and values, consider adding a link to a company webpage with further details.

A Good Job Description Will Help You Attract Great Employees

A well-written job description is essential to attracting high-quality talent. It will help candidates understand what the job entails and whether they are a good fit for the position. Keep in mind, however, that job descriptions are not static. Roles inevitably evolve, so reviews and updates are necessary to keep job descriptions up to date. Make descriptions current by having them reflect your organization’s current branding, and use consistent language through all sections.

A job description is much like a calling card — the first impression of a company. Accordingly, a well-written job description can make the difference between attracting well-qualified candidates that are great matches for your company culture and discouraging such candidates from applying altogether.

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