Writing Effective Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are essential in the hiring process. After all, they are the first thing potential applicants see about your business. Job descriptions can say a lot about your company, and they ensure that applicants and future employees fully understand what the job is about, what their role involves, and what they will be held accountable for. An effective job descriptions does the following:

  • Attracts the right candidates and rules out the wrong candidates
  • Describes the major details about the position
  • Contains a list of skills, abilities, and competencies that are needed to perform the role
  • Outlines the job duties
  • Provides a reference point for compensation decisions

Below are some of the key components for any job description:

Job Title

This is the first fundamental element of any job description. Make sure the job title accurately reflects the nature of the job and the duties to be performed. Do not exaggerate the importance of the role, and make sure it reflects its ranking in the company’s hierarchy. 


Not every job duty that will be performed by the selected candidate needs to be included in the job description. Instead, it should focus on the required outcome of the job. Along with a description of the duties, include the amount of time expected to be dedicated to each task, which can be represented as a percentage. Keep the descriptions short, no more than 3-4 sentences long. 


In order to compile a list of qualifications you will be looking for, review the duties the person will perform and assess what skills are required in order to complete those tasks. Be sure to include the minimum education or training that is required, minimum years of experience, any special skills needed to perform the job, and make sure to differentiate between what is required and what is desirable or preferred. 


If your company is comfortable in stating the position’s salary range and benefits to the public, include them in the description. If you are not comfortable, then work out a salary range that is competitive with similar positions in other organizations. If necessary you can always state it is negotiable. 

Writing a job descriptions may seem simple, but there are some things that you should avoid when you do so. Here is a list of some of the do’s and don’ts for writing good job descriptions.