How to Write a Professional Job Description
In this Article –
Job description definition
How to write a job description
Job description essentials
Your business is growing and you need extra hands. How do you write a job description that will get a qualified person in the position you’re seeking to hire?
Here are some things to consider when writing up a job description.
What Is a Job Description?
A job description is a medium by which hiring managers communicate their needs to both external and internal candidates.
For the employer, the job description lays out essential information about the role, the candidate’s experience, skills, and readiness.
For the employee, the job description describes the responsibilities, tasks, and related duties of a position. It will often include additional information such as education, qualifications, and skills required for the role. You can also expect important details like working conditions, compensation offering, physical demands, and tools or equipment required.
How to Write a Job Description
It can be as short or as long as you like. As descriptive or vague as you want. It can also have hidden instructions to gauge people’s attention to detail. Most importantly, it should be clear and concise. You can use it briefly when posting a job offering and give the candidate more details during an interview.
Ideas to Get You Started
1. Jot Down the Position’s Responsibilities and Duties
Some critical questions to ask yourself as you write this are:
- What does their day-to-day look like?
- What tasks do you expect they own and complete in a timely manner?
- Who else do they interact with day-to-day and how are they accountable to those people?
- If they were to provide reports or updates to someone what metrics are included?
Be as specific as possible here to make their day-to-day and your performance evaluations easier.
2. List Experience and Skills Required
Now that you’ve specified responsibilities and daily activities it is time to create your wishlist of skills, experience, and education. Who is your ideal candidate?
Take another stab at your wishlist and order it from most important to least important. Finally, add in what’s required and what’s optional.
3. Include Desired Soft Skills and Personality Traits
Describe their education and experience that fit your culture. Do they have the soft skills to pull off their job function? Here are a few questions to consider when dreaming up the right candidate:
- Do you need a self-starter or someone who can simply follow directions?
- Will they work independently or as part of a team?
- How flexible is the role? Do they follow checklists or is a lot of it creativity?
Describe the current team’s personality or the company’s culture. Jot down what you want and what you don’t want.
4. Determine Compensation
How much would you have to pay that ideal person and how likely it is to find that person? Decide if it’s an entry-level position or a higher tier that requires more experience and a higher starting salary.
A fair salary is a must, but how else can you entice a candidate to apply?
Consider adding monetary and non-monetary benefits besides salary. Sometimes people will take a lower-paying role if the health, dental, and retirement benefits are excellent. Or if they know there’s a lot of opportunity for growth at the company.
Determine ahead of time if there’s a salary cap or a merit increase schedule and what you’re comfortable paying year over year.
5. Write the Job Description
You now have everything you need to write your job description.
Start by writing the job title and a brief introduction to the company. Explain what the company does, how many employees you have, and your overall mission.
Next, add position details, including job requirements and day-to-day responsibilities. Ensure that they understand both the opportunities and the challenges of the role. The more transparent the better so nobody wastes their time.
Add in miscellaneous details like work hours, location, compensation, and start details.
Finally, list out the attributes that the ideal candidate would possess, ranging from education to prior work experience and soft skills. Ensure that they know what’s required and what’s optional.
Job Description Essentials
We’ll leave you with some best practices for writing an effective job description:
- Transparency is key – Glassdoor and job review sites are widely used so it’s better to disclose any and all rough aspects of the job or the company upfront.
- Limit industry jargon – It will only discourage candidates from applying.
- Help them do research – Link your website, social media pages, and relevant press releases so they can easily do more research on your company and its values.
- Talk about your customers – Give them industry insights so they have a better understanding of what they’re signing up for.
The last and best piece of advice on writing job descriptions is don’t start from scratch. There are countless jobs out there just like the one you’re posting. Use them as inspiration and adapt them to your needs.