The right job description can create opportunities and open doors for more than just job seekers. It says a great about an employer and the workplace culture and values they represent. So, if you want to attract the best talent, start at home. Write a job advert that’s impossible to ignore.
This article offers some tips on writing a high-quality job description. Your ad should be concise, clear, and distinctive. It should cover all the requirements on responsibilities and competencies while also explaining what the role offers candidates in terms of personal and professional development.
Before we take a closer look at what to include in your job description, here are some examples. Your description can be a PDF or a Word document. Templates for both are included below to help you start drafting.
Sample Job Description
For Administrative Assistant
Volunteer Job Description
Simple Job Description
Blank Job Description
Who is responsible for writing a company’s job descriptions?
It depends on the company’s internal practices. Most businesses have a human resources department that takes care of recruitment processes. Writing job descriptions would be a responsibility for this department.
In smaller businesses and companies without a dedicated recruitment team, the person responsible for the new employee (on a day to day basis) should manage or be heavily involved in the process. They will have the most knowledge about what tasks need to be completed on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Whoever writes the job descriptions, there should be a process in place to make sure management or the owner of the company approves.
For Office Manager
Secretary Job Description
Bookkeeper Job Description
For Sales Associate
For Staff Accountant
Job Description Example 1
What is the best way to use a job description template?
Job description templates are valuable tools because they serve as a guide for what information goes where and why. Templates provide a fully formed example document that’s designed to be edited in a way that replaces the written content (with information specific to your role) but preserves the style and format.
In other words, you can copy and paste your job information into a preconfigured template. It saves time and ensures the format you use is acceptable. Don’t forget to replace all preconfigured content with your specifications. Do not leave any of the original example content on the document. It’s essential the description is your document and not copied from another source.
Job Description Example 2
- MS Word
Job Description Example 3
Job Description Example 4
Job Description Example 5
Job Description Example 6
Job Description Example 7
Job Description Example 8
Job Description Example 9
What Is a Job Description?
Job descriptions are short documents – usually one or two pages – used to advertise employment vacancies. They are usually posted on recruitment websites for jobseekers to peruse and match with their skillsets.
It’s essential to produce high-quality job descriptions that are engaging to read. The more candidates read and respond to a job ad, the better the company’s chance of finding the perfect employee. These documents also serve as agreements between recruiters and jobseekers. The tacit assumption is, if you respond to a job description, it’s because you can satisfy the needs it outlines.
Job descriptions can be valuable corporate resources. Here are some of their uses:
- Attracts a talented employee with the right skills
- Establishes the practical scope/requirements of a role
- Reminds the company of an employee’s responsibilities
- Provides a useful reference for performance evaluations
- Creates the foundation for an employee’s contract
How To Write A Job Description
When you’re writing a job description, keep the following pointers in mind:
Clearly State the Job Title
There’s room for personality (and even levity) on job descriptions. Yet, don’t forget their purpose. The aim is to match your role to a candidate with valuable and relevant skills. So, explicitly state who and what you need.
Include clear, concrete terms even if they don’t sound exciting. Unless your industry or business uses widely recognized shorthands (such as ‘sandwich artist’ or ‘coffee artist’), explicitly state the role (‘sandwich maker’ or ‘front of house barista.’)
Don’t Be Too Clever
As employers look to ever more creative ways of attracting job seekers, there’s a growing temptation to go against tried and tested formats. Some companies describe roles in humorous ways or even write their job descriptions with a heavy dose of irony.
Yes, the world is changing. Millennials and Gen X-ers are very different generations to the ones that went before. Nevertheless, trying too hard to be witty or ‘in on’ popular jokes is a risky strategy. Most candidates skim-read job adverts. If yours is all double entendres and slang, understanding it might take more time than a candidate is willing to give.
Describe the Responsibilities
This is probably an essential part of a job description. Alongside the job title, it’s a section that needs to be very clear. You can use humor in parts of your advert, but it is unsuitable here. The duties described form the basis of any legal agreements between yourself and an employee.
These are the tasks you agree to pay an applicant to perform. Be clear. Be comprehensive. Disputes with employees can get very messy if they concern job responsibilities that weren’t included in the job description.
If you are in charge of recruiting, but somebody else will manage or monitor the employee, write this section together. The person in charge of an employee’s daily activities must feel satisfied with the work they do.
What To Avoid When Writing Job Descriptions
- Unconscious Biases. For many recruiters (particularly older business owners), the need to avoid biases is a new frontier. It’s something you may not be familiar with, but in this day and age, it is essential. When writing, try to avoid using gendered terms (such as ‘businessman’ or ‘policeman’) because the implication is you only want male applicants.
Not only is this discriminatory, but it also reduces the number of candidates and decreases your chances of finding the perfect match. Being overly specific about age is another way to shrink your candidate pool dramatically. Experience is essential for many positions, but describing your ideal employee as having ‘ten years of experience’ only serves to disadvantage your search.
The vast majority of job seekers, particularly those under fifty, do not have ten years of experience in a single role or industry. It doesn’t mean they don’t have any valuable experience. It’s okay to be specific about what you want, but remember, you are offering a candidate their opportunities for development as well.
- Negative Language. Candidates want to know their contributions to your business will be recognized and appreciated. The language used in a job advert tells them more than you might think. For example, stating ‘applicants with fewer than five years of experience won’t be considered’ is quite negative.
It implies a lack of emotion and connection. Perhaps it’s true, and you’ve got so many applications you cannot consider ones that don’t tick every box. That’s fine, but try to state your needs more positively. Consider saying something like ‘this is a senior role so that we may ask for proof of relevant skills and experiences.‘
Remember, you’re trying to attract high-level candidates. Often, these are individuals with multiple options and choices. They may not need to overlook the smaller details in your descriptions. Things like workplace culture and attitudes towards applicants might be deciding factors for them.