Job Description Templates (2023)

What is the Purpose of a Job Description?

The purpose of a job description is to outline the main responsibilities and duties of a role for potential applicants. Some job descriptions may even describe how success is measured and the metrics considered in performance evaluations.

A job description is created by the person recruiting the role, often with input from HR, external recruiters, and the role’s department head.

All job descriptions are written to provide potential applicants with a summary of the main responsibilities and duties of a role. However, a job description can fulfil several purposes. It may also:

  • Training
  • Job evaluation
  • Appraisal
  • Recruitment and selection

While it might fulfill several purposes, a job description should be brief.

Is a Job Description Important?

Yes, a job description is very important. Here is why:

A job description provides minimum qualifications

The job description needs to provide a minimum list of qualifications that applicants need to have to be considered for the role. This allows you to legally rebut claims of discrimination from an unsuccessful applicant if they do not possess the minimum qualifications. Minimum qualifications include things like, a degree level, a driver’s license, accreditation, or a good attendance record.

(Video) Job Description Templates

A job description kick-starts the interactive process

Federal laws require companies to make reasonable accommodations for disabled people who are otherwise qualified candidates. The candidate and the business would discuss what duties would require accommodations and what the accommodations would be. A job description is a good starting point for this process as it identifies the daily tasks of the role.

A job description communicates what is expected of employees

While there are many legal reasons for having a clear job description, there are several practical reasons as well. One of these is that job descriptions provide a standard for employees to meet. The job description highlights what tasks they must perform and may even address the level of quality or quantity they must produce. These provide helpful tools for performance reviews and even for firing underperforming employees.

A job description will reduce the number of under-qualified applicants

A good job description clearly lists the qualifications necessary for a particular role, and what is expected of a successful applicant. This will help weed out applicants who are under-qualified as they will be able to see they are not a good fit for the role. This saves time in viewing applications that are not a good fit for the role.

A job description can be evidence for justifying an exempt status

While a job description alone cannot prove a role has exempt status, it is a vital piece of evidence in proving the status of an employee. It will show their contract basis, their responsibilities, and the duties of their role.

What Information Needs to Be in a Job Description?

A job description needs to accurately convey the position’s responsibilities and main duties. It should answer the question “What will I be doing if I get this job?”

The job description needs to provide recruiters with a foundation of how to identify, hire, develop, and keep talent in this role. It also is the basis upon which performance evaluations will be set. A job description should always be written to comply with employment laws.

As job descriptions describe the position, instead of the person, they are “incumbent neutral.” The document needs to provide the main responsibilities of the role, rather than every single aspect of the work, so the document need not be updated for any minor changes.

(Video) Job description Template with Instructions

The components of a job description are:

  • Job title
  • Purpose
  • Job responsibilities and duties
  • Necessary qualifications
  • Preferred Qualifications
  • Working conditions

How to Write a Job Description

Use the actual job title

Stick to clear and professional job titles so they cannot be misconstrued or seen as discriminatory. By embellishing the title name, you risk attracting the wrong candidates to the role.

Keep it relatable

Candidates will often skim-read job descriptions on job portals, so ensure the job description is clear. Avoid using jargon or phrases that can cause confusion. The information needs to be accurate to avoid legal issues.

Describe the day-to-day duties

A candidate should be able to visualize a typical day at work after reading the job description. You need not describe it in paragraph form, simply supply dot points which explain the key duties of the role. Ensure the hiring manager, HR, and the department where the successful candidate will work are all on the same page.

Sell the job

You need to convince candidates why they should apply for this role over similar roles out there. Often, a candidate will already have a job, so why should they leave their current job to work for your company? Mention the perks and benefits the role receives and career advancement opportunities, or the importance of the role in the overall company.

Why work for your company?

Just like you need to include information about why people should apply for the role, you need to include information about why people should work for your company. You can include information about the company culture, charities you support, or testimonials.

Things to Avoid When Writing a Job Description

Forgetting to tell them about your company

Don’t forget; the applicant wants to know what kind of company they will be working for too. At the end of the job description, tell the candidates what makes your company a great employer.

(Video) Use This Dynamic Job Description Template

Confusing job title

Some companies try to rebrand job titles to make them sound cooler or appeal to the younger generation, but it often does more harm than good. Using job titles like “Social Media Wizard” or “Engagement Hacker” will just confuse potential applicants and reduce the number of people reading the job description. Just stick to the industry-appropriate job titles which come with an expectation of seniority and pay range.

Outdated job descriptions

While big chunks of your previous job descriptions can be reused, edit the job descriptions before you post them. Things may have changed in the business, and you need to update it for accuracy. But more importantly, you need to update the job description to better attract the ideal candidate.

Writing job descriptions with no personality

The tone of your job description will tell a potential candidate a lot about your business and company culture. It should match your branding and company culture guidelines so applicants can determine whether they are a good fit. Keep the job description professional, but let your company’s personality shine.

Not providing wage information

When companies do not provide wage information, they waste their time and the applicants’. Most applicants will expect the wage to depend on experience, but at least provide a realistic wage range to ensure you’re not interviewing candidates you can’t afford.

Discriminatory Language

Using discriminatory language can get you in legal hot water very quickly. Avoid any words that may be discriminatory on the basis of age, gender, race, religion, disability, or any other protected statuses. For example, instead of saying waitresses and waiters, say servers, or instead of young, say energetic.

Avoid using jargon and cliches

Avoid using industry or company-specific jargon; otherwise you will lose candidates to a Google rabbit hole. Likewise, avoid any uncommon abbreviations and cliched terms like “self-starter.”

Missing information

Ensure the job description is a full description of the responsibilities and duties of a role. The recruitment process is expensive, so you don’t want to lose new employees because you expect more work than they realized.

(Video) How to write a job description template sample

Inaccurate or ambiguous information

Employees are not expected to do work outside of their job description. To avoid running into issues down the line and leaving yourself open to legal action, write clear, complete job descriptions. If the role involves standing for long periods of time or heavy lifting, make sure it is clear and provide estimated figures.

Not differentiating between required skills and desired skills

Some companies will have a long list of required skills that will stop ideal candidates from applying for the role. When writing a job description, be clear on what is necessary for the role and what is an added bonus. Ideally, separate these skills into two sections, so it is clear to applicants

Unrealistic expectations

It is important to have high standards when hiring someone for the role, but it is important to be realistic, especially in comparison with the pay you are offering. Again, refer to the necessary skills required to do the job and preferred skills list. It might be nice to hire someone who speaks 2 languages, but is it necessary for their day to day role? Instead, you might just settle for someone who speaks fluent Spanish so they can communicate with your suppliers. In summary, unless you can point to a specific reason why someone needs to have that skill (required skill) or how it will help them do the job more effectively (desired skill,) then cut it from the job description.

Too brief

The job description should be succinct, but it does need to provide all of the essential information an applicant needs to know before they apply for a position. If the applicant has questions, they simply won’t apply.

Getting hung up on years of experience

While hiring experienced applicant is essential, some companies shoot themselves in the foot by specifying the years of experience necessary, especially for entry-level positions. If the job description asks for 5 years of experience in social media management, for a position that pays peanuts, then you are unlikely to get many applicants. Think about how long it takes someone to learn to do their job well. After 2 years in most roles, employees will be eligible for promotions, management positions, and will be training other employees on aspects of the job. If the role is not technical, then 1 year experience is sufficient in an entry-level position. For senior roles, you can request 5+ years of experience as long as the pay scale backs up that experience.

When it comes to technology experience, consult someone in the department as to the skill level required. A lot of the essential software may only have been around for a year or two, so requiring 3-5 years of experience will show that the recruiter does not understand the role they are recruiting.

Rambling

Any professional writing should seek to cover the essential points and little more. The job description should contain all the necessary information, but it should not ramble. Stick to dot points for the required skills and essential skills. You will need to write in paragraphs to describe the company and the ideal candidate for the role, but again, keep it succinct.

(Video) Job Description Templates

Generic job descriptions

Be specific about what you are looking for in a candidate and how your company is a great employer. Every company wants professional, motivated, team-players. Most people know the bare minimum expected of them to get a job in a corporate environment, so leave that stuff out. Focus on the specific skills you are looking for.

Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

With the number of spellchecking software available to us, there is no excuse for poor spelling and grammar. Run your job description through spellcheck and ask a colleague to look at it with fresh eyes before you post it.

The job description reflects on your company and will attract similar candidates. If you want intelligent and professional candidates, you need to write a well-written, professional job description.

FAQs

What are the 5 components of job description? ›

A job description contains the following components: job title, job purpose, job duties and responsibilities, required qualifications, preferred qualifications, and working conditions.

What is job description examples? ›

A job description or JD lists the main features of a specific job. The description typically includes the person's main duties, responsibilities, and working conditions. It also includes the job title and to whom the person holding that job has to report.

How do I write a short description about my job? ›

Follow these steps when writing your own job description:
  1. Decide what you want to do. ...
  2. Determine the need for a new position. ...
  3. Create a job title. ...
  4. Describe how the job supports the company's mission. ...
  5. Write a job description. ...
  6. List job duties. ...
  7. List your qualifications and competencies. ...
  8. Present the job to your employer.

How do you write a strong job description? ›

Job description layout checklist:

Make the job titles clear, direct, and specific. Engage potential applicants with an exciting company description example. Include more than one example of duties and responsibilities. Provide past job experience examples that would be helpful in the position.

What is a standard job template? ›

Standard Job Template:

A Standard Job template includes all of the basic information about a job and the skills and abilities needed. Specifically, the standard job template can include job title, department, division, summary of the job/basic purpose, essential duties and responsibilities, and minimum qualifications.

What are the seven steps to write a good job description? ›

We discuss seven tips for writing a killer job description.
  1. Start with a job analysis. ...
  2. Include an accurate job title. ...
  3. Summarize the job. ...
  4. Summarize requirements and responsibilities. ...
  5. Use language that speaks to the right candidate. ...
  6. Describe the benefits. ...
  7. Sell your company.
12 Jun 2020

What are the three primary elements of job description? ›

Basic Elements of a Good Job Description

Most job descriptions contain: (1) job identification, (2) job summary or purpose, (3) essential functions and additional responsibilities, (4) accountabilities, and (5) job specifications. This framework may vary from employer to employer and from job to job.

What are the 4 main items in a job posting? ›

When writing job descriptions hiring managers need to keep these four things in mind:
  • Job summary. Job summaries are a vital part of a job description. ...
  • Job titles. Keywords are crucial when searching for jobs. ...
  • Job location. Job locations are essential to candidates finding a job posting. ...
  • Major Responsibilities.
30 Jul 2018

How do you write a job description for 2022? ›

6 Tips for Writing Compelling Job Descriptions in 2022
  1. Write a Stand Out Introduction. The first part of your job description should be an introduction to your company brand. ...
  2. Make it Candidate Focused. ...
  3. Describe Your Culture and Mission. ...
  4. Don't Get Overly Creative with Job Titles. ...
  5. Add Multimedia. ...
  6. Eliminate Biased Language.
18 May 2022

How can I make my job description sound better? ›

Your mom was right—honesty really is always the best policy.
  1. Focus on Achievements. One of the biggest faux pas I see is that the summaries of past positions read like straight up job descriptions. ...
  2. Include Examples. Admittedly, this tip will work better for some people than others. ...
  3. Remove Cliché Words. ...
  4. Include Testimonials.
19 Jun 2020

What words should not be used in a job description? ›

Using words like “strong,” “competitive,” and “chairman” (or other male-specific titles) doesn't just drive female candidates away—it also harms your overall diversity efforts. Studies show female professionals are much less likely to apply to jobs with these “male-sounding” words in their job descriptions.

What are the 5 core job dimensions? ›

The five core job dimensions identified are autonomy, feedback, skill variety, task identity, and task significance. It is important to recognize the job characteristics and how they affect the employees' job satisfaction in an organization.

What are 3 things that should be included in a complete description of position? ›

A complete description of your position includes a distance, a direction, and a reference point.

What is typically the first section of a job description? ›

Job Title. The job title is the first item that's listed on a job description. It immediately gives potential applicants an idea as to whether the job might be a good fit.

How long should a job description be? ›

Description length: Keep your main description 4,000-5000 characters long. This is equal to around 500-600 words. Scannable: Eye-tracking tests show that readers skim the job description portion of the posting. So, when writing your description, avoid long, wordy paragraphs.

What is the most important section of the job description? ›

Here are the most critical components of a good job description. Heading information. This should include job title, pay grade or range, reporting relationship (by position, not individual), hours or shifts, and the likelihood of overtime or weekend work.

What are key words in a job posting? ›

What are keywords for jobs and why are they important? Keywords for jobs are words or phrases that describe skills, personality traits or qualifications. Job keywords can also include terms relating to company work culture, specific job titles or job locations.

How do you write a job posting sample? ›

Steps for writing a job posting
  1. Write the job title with an engaging lead. The first step of any job posting should start with the job title. ...
  2. Introduce your company. ...
  3. Write the job description. ...
  4. Spell out the top benefits. ...
  5. Include location details. ...
  6. Finish with contact and application information. ...
  7. Reread, edit and post.

What are the main components of a job? ›

A complete job analysis should provide you with information on the following components:
  • Title. Short, clear and accurate. ...
  • Job summary. Two or three sentences about the position and the company are enough at this point. ...
  • Tasks, responsibilities. ...
  • Qualifications. ...
  • Supervision. ...
  • Working conditions. ...
  • Salary and benefits.
15 Jul 2019

What are the components of job description and job specification? ›

A job description usually lists out the job title, location, job summary, working environment, duties to be performed on the job, etc. A job specification lists out the qualifications, experience, training, skills, emotional attributes, mental capabilities of an individual to perform the job.

What are the key components of a job ad? ›

6 Essential Elements Your Job Ads NEED to Include
  • An understandable job title. ...
  • Supportive language that speaks directly to the candidate you're trying to attract. ...
  • Required and desirable skills clearly separated. ...
  • Headings to break up text. ...
  • A salary range. ...
  • Your contact details/application instructions.

How detailed should a job description be? ›

A job description summarizes the essential responsibilities, activities, qualifications and skills for a role. Also known as a JD, this document describes the type of work performed. A job description should include important company details — company mission, culture and any benefits it provides to employees.

What are the 3 types of job categories? ›

A Job Category defines the type of work performed, as opposed to the occupation or subject matter. The three categories are: 1) Operational & Technical, 2) Professional, 3) Supervisory & Managerial.

What are the 5 characteristics of job characteristics theory? ›

The original version of job characteristics theory proposed a model of five “core” job characteristics (i.e. skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback) that affect five work-related outcomes (i.e. motivation, satisfaction, performance, and absenteeism and turnover) through three ...

How do you create a job design? ›

Although there are many ways to carry out job design, the following stages are essential:
  1. Do an assessment of current work practices. Is job design needed or feasible? ...
  2. Do a task analysis. ...
  3. Design the job. ...
  4. Implement the new job design gradually. ...
  5. Get Feedback and Re-evaluate job design on a continual basis.

What is purpose of job description? ›

Purpose of the Job Description: The job description documents essential job functions and the skills, knowledge, abilities and other characteristics needed for satisfactory performance of the job. It should be updated regularly to ensure that it reflects the employee's current assigned responsibilities.

How do you structure a job ad? ›

How to write an effective job advertisement
  1. Use an accurate job title. ...
  2. Give a description of the company. ...
  3. Clearly list duties and responsibilities. ...
  4. List the skills and qualifications necessary. ...
  5. State the job location and working hours. ...
  6. Give some insight into salary and benefits. ...
  7. Give contact information.
30 Nov 2021

What are the 5 parts of an ad? ›

Regardless of where you place your advertisement, successful ads contain five major parts.
  • A Catchy Headline. The headline is a major aspect of an advertisement. ...
  • An Effective Sub-headline. ...
  • Selling the Benefits. ...
  • Images and Packaging. ...
  • Call-to-action.

How do you write a job advertisement example? ›

How to write a job advertisement
  • Introduce the employer and the position. Begin the job advertisement by introducing the employer. ...
  • Write a job description. ...
  • Share benefits. ...
  • Specify qualifications. ...
  • Explain the application process. ...
  • Add your contact information.

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