What To Include In A Job Description

Published: July 10th 2023

Updated: July 10th 2023

Welcome to our latest blog post, "What To Include In A Job Description." In today's highly competitive job market, it's essential to know what job seekers expect from your listings. Writing an engaging job description that stands out is no longer a nice-to-have - it's a necessity.

This guide will delve into the art of crafting effective job descriptions, from understanding the job purpose to nailing the must-have skills. We'll explore how a well-crafted job description can become your strongest ally in attracting the right talent. After all, the job description serves as the first point of contact between your organization and potential candidates - it's essentially your job ad's opening handshake.

Striking the perfect balance when you write a job description can be challenging. You want to provide enough detail to give a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the role without overwhelming job seekers with information. And, just like any good storyteller, you want to make sure your job posting captures the reader's attention from the very start. So, buckle up as we guide you through creating compelling job descriptions that resonate with qualified candidates. Let's make your next job ad not just another posting, but an engaging invitation to join your team.

Why It Is Crucial To Write A Compelling Job Description

Crafting a compelling job description is an art that holds immense significance in today's hyper-competitive job market. A good job description serves as the lighthouse, casting a beacon to guide potential candidates towards your organization. It is your organization's first handshake with a potential new hire. Therefore, creating an impactful first impression is pivotal. It’s this early interaction that helps kindle the interest of top-tier candidates, encouraging them to delve deeper into the opportunity at hand.

Furthermore, compelling job descriptions play a vital role in filtering the talent pool. By meticulously outlining the role, its requirements, and expectations, organizations can attract applications from candidates who align with their needs. This clarity helps deter applicants who are not a suitable fit, saving significant time in the hiring process. Thus, compelling job descriptions can accelerate the hiring cycle and boost overall productivity. They are instrumental in finding the best candidates - someone who can seamlessly blend into your team and contribute to the company's goals, vision, and growth.

What Should A Job Description Include?

An enticing job description doesn’t merely list duties; it paints a vivid picture of the role, the company culture, and the potential for career development. This, in turn, not only helps to attract the right talent but also sets clear expectations, fostering a seamless onboarding process and minimizing misunderstandings down the line.

When creating your job description, ensure it includes:

  • Job Title: Be accurate and specific; the title should reflect the role’s duties and level within the organization.
  • Job Summary: Provide an overview of the role, the team, and how it contributes to the company’s goals.
  • Key Responsibilities: Clearly define the day-to-day tasks and long-term objectives of the position.
  • Required Skills and Qualifications: List the hard and soft skills, experience, and educational background necessary for the job.
  • Nice to Have Skills and Education: Mention additional skills, qualifications, or knowledge areas that would be beneficial but not required.
  • Role’s Reporting Hierarchy: Describe the role’s place within the organizational structure, who they’ll report to, and if applicable, who will report to them.
  • Company Overview: Give a brief outline of your company’s mission, culture, and values with a good company description.
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: Include a clear and inclusive statement affirming your commitment to diversity and equal opportunity.
  • Compensation and Benefits: Provide an idea of the salary range, bonus potential, and the suite of benefits (health, retirement, time off, etc.) that come with the role. Remember, it’s not just about the pay; candidates want a comprehensive view of what it means to work for your organization.

To ensure you cover all vital elements of job descriptions, we recommend using templates. A job description template and job advert template can be the foundation that helps you find the right candidate with the preferred experience.

The Significance Of An Accurate And Concise Job Title

The job title is akin to a compass in a job description. It orients potential applicants towards understanding the nature of the role. It’s the first piece of information a candidate encounters, making it vital to be both accurate and concise. A well-crafted job title can effectively communicate the level and type of work involved, thus attracting applicants who are truly interested and well-suited for the position.

Avoid internal jargon, ambiguous titles, or over-inflated designations that can potentially confuse or mislead candidates. Instead, focus on clearly conveying the role’s essence, hierarchy, and scope of work. This not only helps in casting a targeted net in the talent pool but also sets the right expectations from the outset. Remember, clarity in job titles lays the groundwork for attracting the right talent and ensuring a smoother hiring and recruiting process throughout. We highly recommend ready our article - Job Titles vs. Job Position: What’s The Difference?

How To Write A Compelling And Concise Job Summary

The job summary is your elevator pitch so it crucial to know what to include in a job summary when writing a job description. It serves as a concise snapshot of the role, offering an overview that can quickly captivate potential candidates. A compelling job summary should succinctly encapsulate the role’s core purpose, its relevance in the broader organizational context, and its potential impact. It’s about striking a balance between informative and engaging, igniting curiosity, and inviting further reading.

While crafting the job summary, make it relatable. Connect the role to the company’s larger goals or the company mission itself. Showcase how the role contributes to the bigger picture, giving candidates a sense of purpose and a glimpse of their future impact. Remember, the best talent looks for roles that resonate with them on a deeper level. So, make your job summary not just a bland rundown of tasks but a compelling story that provides sufficient comprehension of the role’s real essence.

Listing Key Responsibilities And Their Level Of Detail

When it comes to outlining the role’s key responsibilities, precision is paramount. Providing a clear, detailed list of duties can significantly help candidates gain thorough knowledge of what their typical day would look like. This section should clearly define the job’s routine tasks, supervisory responsibilities, occasional duties, and long-term projects, offering a comprehensive view of what’s expected.

However, avoid overwhelming candidates with too much detail or an exhaustive list of every minor task. Focus on the core responsibilities that carry the most weight or constitute the majority of the work involved. Clarity and brevity are essential here; you want to be thorough but not overly verbose. A well-structured list of responsibilities not only attracts suitable applicants but also establishes clear expectations, facilitating a smoother transition for new hires. We recommend ready our guide - Job Responsibilities: What Are They And What To Include.

Necessary Skills And Qualifications

When listing the required skills and qualifications, focus on the essentials. The skills section is your sieve to filter out candidates who don’t align with the role’s needs. It’s critical to mention both hard and soft skills - the technical skills and prowess needed for the job and the interpersonal skills that fit your company culture.

Be clear and specific about educational requirements, skills required and work experience. If a particular degree, certification, or a certain number of years in a specific role is required, state it clearly. This helps to set clear-cut benchmarks and ensure you attract candidates who meet the necessary criteria. When considering what skills and qualifications to include in a job description, remember, a clear, concise listing of skills and qualifications can save time, resources, and streamline your hiring process by attracting the right fit from the beginning.

Nice To Have Skills And Education

When detailing ‘nice to have’ skills and education, think of it as your wish list. These are the attributes that, while not deal-breakers, would make a candidate stand out. They might include secondary skills that could contribute to the role, additional certifications, or experiences that offer a broader perspective.

Be mindful not to discourage potential applicants who might not possess these added bonuses. Hence, ensure it’s clearly stated these are not mandatory, but merely advantageous. This section is a chance to broaden your applicant pool by inviting those with diverse experiences, working knowledge, or unique skill sets, ultimately enriching the role and potentially bringing fresh insights into your team.

The Role’s Reporting Structure

Clarity in the role’s reporting structure can greatly enhance a candidate’s understanding and general knowledge of their place within the organization. This information can provide valuable insight into their potential career progression, their immediate work environment, and the decision-making dynamics they’ll be a part of.

Providing details about who the position reports to, or who reports to them, helps create a snapshot of the role’s scope of influence. It’s essential to describe these relationships clearly without over-complicating the hierarchy. Remember, a clear reporting structure in the job description will help candidates envision their role more accurately, making it easier for them to decide if they see a future with your company.

Company Overview: Culture, Mission, And Values

A comprehensive company overview is the equivalent of a guided tour of your organization. It should reflect your mission, your basic principles, values, and culture, offering a glimpse into what drives your business. This can be a compelling section that allows potential candidates to understand your purpose, your commitment to specific causes, or your unique work environment.

Use this section to showcase your company’s personality. Highlight what sets you apart, be it your commitment to employee well-being, your innovative spirit, or your community involvement. Remember, job seekers are looking for a place where they can feel engaged and satisfied - where they can be a part of something bigger. So let your organization’s soul shine through your company overview.

The Equal Opportunity Statement

An equal opportunity statement is more than just a legal requirement; it’s a testament to your commitment to inclusivity and diversity. It conveys your dedication to providing a fair and respectful work environment, free from discrimination. This statement holds powerful potential to attract diverse talents who value such commitments.

While writing this section, ensure your statement is clear, comprehensive, and reflects the true spirit of your organization’s stance on equality. Be explicit in your commitment to consider all candidates, regardless of their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. This not only helps promote a diverse and inclusive workplace but also builds a positive image for your organization in the competitive job market.

Compensation And Benefits

Detailing compensation and benefits isn’t just about disclosing the salary range; it’s an opportunity to illustrate the full value of your employment package. From health and retirement benefits to vacation days, professional development opportunities, and unique perks, showcase the comprehensive picture that makes your organization a desirable place to work. Transparency in this section can attract candidates who value what your organization offers, setting the stage for mutually beneficial employment relationships.

Writing Job Descriptions: Tips And Advice

Here are four tips for writing an effective job description:

1. Leverage The Ideal Length For A Job Description

How long job descriptions should be is common question. Striking the right balance in a job description is crucial. It needs to be long enough to provide essential details and short enough to maintain the reader’s interest. Typically, a job description between 300 to 700 words can effectively convey the role’s essence without overwhelming the reader. Remember, clarity and conciseness are key, so focus on providing clear information in a digestible format that respects the candidate’s time.

2. How To Make A Job Description Stand Out

A standout job description is a blend of essential details, engaging narrative free from grammatical errors, and a touch of your company’s unique character. To make your job description pop, ensure it’s more than just a list of duties and requirements. Weave in aspects of your company culture, mission, and what makes you different. Highlight opportunities for growth and impact, appealing to candidates’ aspirations. And always maintain a candidate-centric, positive tone, that invites and engages, rather than merely instructs.

3. Using Your Brand Voice

Your job description should echo your brand voice - it’s an extension of your corporate identity. Whether your brand voice is professional, casual, or creative, let it shine through your job description. This not only ensures consistency across all your communications but also gives candidates a taste of your company culture and values. Remember, your brand voice can be a powerful tool in resonating with the right talent and enhancing your employer brand.

4. Speaking The Candidate’s Language

Understanding and speaking the candidate’s language can make your job description more relatable and appealing. This means using terminology and language that resonates with your target audience. Highlight aspects they care about - work-life balance, career growth, impactful work, inclusive culture - and avoid jargon that may alienate some readers. Remember, a job description should invite, engage, and excite potential candidates, making them envision a future with your company and team.

Things To Avoid In A Job Description

Here are five things to avoid when writing a job description:

1. Jargon And Cliches

Avoid leaning on industry jargon and cliches when crafting job descriptions. While some technical terms may be necessary, excessive or complex jargon can create barriers, potentially discouraging qualified candidates who may not be familiar with your specific vernacular. Similarly, cliches can make your job description sound generic and unappealing. Remember, clarity and authenticity are key to crafting a good job description.

2. Gender-Biased Language

Job descriptions should be free from gender-biased language to ensure inclusivity and appeal to a broad talent pool. Using gender-neutral terms helps to promote equality and avoid unconscious bias. Be mindful of the adjectives, nouns, and pronouns you use, ensuring they do not favor a specific gender. Adopting an inclusive language sets the tone for a diverse and welcoming work environment.

3. Too Many Job Responsibilities And Job Duties

Listing an exhaustive catalogue of responsibilities and duties can overwhelm potential candidates and blur the essence of the role. Keep the list focused and concise, highlighting key tasks and the impact they have on the team and company. Remember, the goal is not to detail every minor task, but to provide a clear and compelling snapshot of what the job entails.

4. Qualifications And Requirements In Paragraphs

Listing qualifications and requirements in long paragraphs can make them difficult to digest and easy to overlook. Instead, use bullet points to clearly outline these elements, making them easily scannable and more engaging for the reader. Structured, clear, and concise formatting helps candidates quickly assess if they meet the criteria, saving both their time and yours.

5. Generic Job Descriptions

Avoid generic job descriptions that could apply to any company or role. Job descriptions should be tailored to reflect the unique aspects of the role and your company’s culture and values. Generic descriptions can fail to excite potential candidates or differentiate your company from others. Make sure your job description captures what makes your business and the role unique, appealing to the candidates you’re seeking to attract.

Job Description Examples

These tips for writing a job description should guide you towards crafting a well-written job description. However, there is nothing like viewing job description examples to get your inspiration flowing and put you on a path where you can write a clear job description that attracts your future employee.

Find any example job description in these business sectors:

Are you seeking to save money on job descriptions? Read our guide, How To Save Money On Job Descriptions: A Guide For Employers And HR Professionals.

Job Description Contents FAQs

Here we explore the frequently asked questions of HR Professionals, Recruiters, employers, and Hiring Managers.

  • Writing a good job description starts with a clear understanding of the key duties and requirements of the role. Begin with a compelling summary that gives a high-level overview of the position and the impact it has within your organization. Then, list the key responsibilities, making sure to use action verbs and specific descriptions. Include the necessary skills, qualifications, and experiences needed for the role. Also, remember to give a glimpse of your company culture and the benefits you offer. Finally, proofread for clarity, conciseness, and any errors before you post it.

  • A position description should include a job title, a brief summary of the role, a detailed list of key responsibilities, the necessary skills and qualifications, the reporting structure, and any physical requirements or working conditions. It’s also beneficial to include information about the company, such as the company culture, mission, and values. Don’t forget to mention the location of the role and the type of employment (full-time, part-time, contract, etc.).

  • A job description for a Marketing Manager could look like this:

    “Title: Marketing Manager. As our Marketing Manager, you’ll play a crucial role in driving our business growth. Your key responsibilities will include developing and implementing marketing strategies, coordinating marketing campaigns, and analyzing market trends. The ideal candidate has a degree in Marketing or a related field, a minimum of 5 years of experience in a similar role, and a proven track record of driving successful marketing campaigns.”

  • A job description summary should provide an engaging, high-level overview of the role. It should give potential candidates a snapshot of the role’s main responsibilities, its relevance within the organization, and what kind of candidate would be a good fit. Remember, this is your first chance to grab a candidate’s attention, so make sure it’s concise, informative, and enticing.

  • A job description should include the following components: a job title, a job summary, a list of key responsibilities, the skills and qualifications required for the role, any physical demands or working conditions, and a brief introduction to your company including the company culture and benefits. Including an equal opportunity employer statement can also be beneficial. It’s all about providing the job seeker with a comprehensive view of what the role involves and what it’s like to work at your company.


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