Job Description Writing Guide

By going through a job description writing guide, you will know what exactly to include in one. This actually comes with several direct and indirect advantages including marketing your business, making your job ad stand out and most importantly attracting the best talent out there. Seeking out the latest job description guide thus becomes necessary for any kind of business that requires employees. 

Below is a comprehensive job description guide, straight from the experts.

Job description format

A job description should follow this format:

Title

This is the exact name of the position you want to advertise

The scope of the job and its purpose

This is a brief summary that details the primary role of the job. 

Duties and key responsibilities

This is the most important section of the job description. It is a breakdown of all tasks associated with that particular the position. Here are the steps:

  • Think of the exact activities that the job candidate must accomplish and the type of discretion needed to make the right decisions on an ongoing basis. 
  • List down all these activities and separate them into related groupings. Assess these groupings to identify the level of skill associated with each. 
  • When arranging the skills, the most important responsibilities should come first. To help the reader get a clearer picture of each responsibility, you can even include the time spent on each. 

General responsibilities

This is a list of the general responsibilities that the staff member will be expected to carry out. A good example is avoiding being bias when handling the support staff. 

Preferred candidate section

In this section, you should detail the specific attributes, skills, knowledge and job experience that you are looking for. 

Job description writing guide- best practices

Wondering how to write your own job description? The following are the practices you should follow in order to come up with an effective job description:

  • How to write the job description
    Your primary focus should include every detail concerning the vacant job post while still trying to be precise as much as possible. 
  • The title sometimes says it all
    A short, specifically targeted title is sometimes the only thing you need to say everything about the job position that you are advertising. If it is a French teacher position, for instance, “French teacher needed” as the job title will do a better job than just “Teacher needed”.
  • Duties and responsibilities
    In the section, you should outline all the duties and responsibilities to be carried out by the successful candidate. Make sure you highlight those that are unique only to that job position.
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    Job duties list
    Make sure that you list the day to day activities of the position, how to carry them out and details of how and whom to report to. On top of helping the candidates see how the position impacts the organization, it will also help them to evaluate how they are suited for the position.
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    Skills
    In this section, every employer is tempted to list all the skills they envision for the ideal candidate. Including too many qualifications might, however, discourage some potential candidates from applying. Job duties list
    Make sure that you list the day to day activities of the position, how to carry them out and details of how and whom to report to. On top of helping the candidates see how the position impacts the organization, it will also help them to evaluate how they are suited for the position.
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    The type of language to use in your job description
    To avoid confusing the reader, avoid using the profession’s jargon in the job description. Instead of using the official names given to ranks in the profession, for instance, just use simple terms such as senior or intermediate. On the same, you should avoid using biased language as it could deter highly qualified individuals from applying.
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    Each statement should have three sections
    This mostly applies to the duties and responsibilities section. To ensure that you do not put down the unnecessary in your job description, each statement should have a verb, the accompanying subject, and the list of specific activities. If the job position requires the candidate to prepare financial reports, the complete statement should be- Prepare (verb) financial reports by (accompanying subject) collecting data, feeding it into spreadsheets and generating a report (specific activities). 
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    Don’t forget to market your company.
    After putting up your job ad either social media or your website, it will be popping up everywhere in the web search results. You should, therefore, seize the opportunity to market your business in the job description. 
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    Optimize the content for search engines
    For a higher discovery rate online, you must make sure that you optimize the job description’s content for the search engines. One simple way of optimizing your job posting to make sure that it ranks higher in the results is by including the exact job location.
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    Write for an amateur
    The ideal job description must be capable of describing the position to a person who is completely unfamiliar with the job position.
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    Involve the current employees
    Job descriptions are usually just a replication of a file stored decades ago in the HR department, consulted only when a position is vacated. These job descriptions fail to reflect the current skills, requirements, and responsibilities of the position. To avoid this, you can consult the current employees for input.
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    Create an urgency for the position
    Even if you are not desperate to fill the position, it is important to compel candidates, even those that are currently employed, to apply by creating a sense of urgency. You can create a sense of urgency using several techniques such as including direct contact information and including specific start dates in the job application. 
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    Don’t be too official
    Today, people are not just looking for a job to make ends meet. They are looking for a career that they enjoy. You should, therefore, highlight the benefits that the candidate will enjoy after scoring the job.
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    Proofread your job description
    The tiniest grammatical mistake on your job application could send the wrong message about your organization. Make sure you grammar check your job description for any mistakes. If you are unsure of it, you can hire a professional proofreader to do it for you. 

Now that you have gone through our job description guide, go seek out the best talent out there to join your team.