What To Include In A Job Summary When Writing A Job Description

Published: June 22nd 2023

It is impossible to write an effective job description that will allure job seekers that are qualified candidates without mastering the art of crafting a compelling job summary. As the second thing prospective candidates will see when viewing your job posting, after the job title, the job summary is clearly a vital component that will either bring in more qualified candidates or deter a future employee from applying for your job postings. Hence, effective job descriptions and a successful recruiting process rely on a good job summary, making it the focus of this guide.

In this post on crafting a job summary to complete a compelling job description, we explore the following:

  • What is a job summary - The role of a job summary in a job description
  • Describing the purpose of the job
  • Listing job duties and job responsibilities
  • Adding the reporting hierarchy
  • How to reflect company culture in your job summary
  • Making your job summary stand out and avoiding common mistakes
  • Job summary and job description examples

What Is A Job Summary - The Role Of A Job Summary In A Job Description

A job summary is a brief, concise overview of what a specific job titles entail. It serves as the initial point of contact between potential candidates and your company, providing them with a snapshot of the role, its duties, technical skills required, its significance within the organisation, and what they can expect on a day-to-day basis. The role of a job summary is paramount in a good job description; it's the elevator pitch that persuades the most qualified candidates to delve deeper into the role's details and, ultimately, apply for your job post.

The key elements to include in your job summary are as follows:

  • Job title
  • Job purpose
  • Job duties and responsibilities
  • Reporting hierarchy
  • Company culture

By combining these elements, you create a compelling, informative job summary that provides the best candidates with a clear understanding of the role and its place within your organisation. This, in turn, increases your chances of attracting the most qualified and enthusiastic candidates with the necessary skills.

Describing The Purpose Of The Job

Describing the purpose of a job within a job summary is a pivotal task. It's here a Hiring Manager can highlight not just the duties of the role, but how it integrates into the wider organisation and contributes to overarching company goals and company mission. To do this effectively, one must distil the essence of the role into a clear, compelling narrative that illustrates the position's importance and its potential impact on the company's success.

Start by outlining the main duties the role will involve, but don't stop there. Follow it with a broader picture of how these tasks fit within the company's strategic plans. If the position is customer-facing, for instance, stress how crucial exceptional customer service is to your brand's reputation and growth.

If it's a managerial role, highlight how effective leadership can empower a team and drive overall productivity. When you accurately describe the role's purpose in this way, you're showing prospective candidates that their contributions will have significant value, thus making the job more appealing to those who seek meaningful, impactful work.

Listing Job Duties And Job Responsibilities

Listing job duties and responsibilities in a job summary serves as a brief description and blueprint for what the role entails and what will be expected of the candidate. This isn't merely a laundry list of tasks; it's an opportunity to paint a vivid picture of the day-to-day activities, as well as the scope and impact of the role within your organisation. Precision and clarity are crucial here; you want to set expectations for potential candidates so they are able to visualise themselves performing these duties and understand how they contribute to the company's objectives.

Begin by identifying the key tasks and essential activities that the job title entails. Be specific and use active verbs to convey these duties effectively. However, don't overload the job description summary with too many details; stick to high-level responsibilities that encapsulate the role. Then, illustrate how these responsibilities integrate into the broader company context.

By aligning individual tasks with organisational goals, you help potential candidates understand the role's significance and how their work will contribute to the company's success. This approach not only provides a clear vision of the role but also builds a compelling narrative that attracts the right candidates. Job description templates will help guide you in completing this step.

Adding The Reporting Hierarchy

In a job description summary, providing a clear picture of the reporting hierarchy is crucial. This information offers job seekers an understanding of their job title within the organisation and who they'll directly report to, fostering a sense of context and structure. This isn't just about names and job titles; it's about giving a sense of the organisational structure and how the role fits within it.

Start by outlining who the role will report to directly. Is it a manager, a department head, or perhaps a director? Mention the level of interaction expected with this superior, as this can indicate the degree of autonomy and responsibility within the position. Then, if applicable, include information on whether they will have any direct reports or team leadership responsibilities themselves.

Providing this information upfront will help job seekers gauge whether the role aligns with their career aspirations and their comfort level within a team structure. Thus, adding the reporting hierarchy can help to attract candidates who are a good organisational fit and are comfortable with the outlined structure.

How To Reflect Company Culture In Your Job Summary

Reflecting your company culture within your job summary and company description is an effective way to attract candidates who align with your values and working style. More than just a list of tasks, your job summary is an opportunity to express your company's personality and ethos, giving potential candidates a glimpse into the kind of environment they could be part of. It's about painting a picture that resonates with like-minded individuals and encourages them to delve deeper into the role.

Start by weaving elements of your company culture into your job descriptions. For example, if your company values innovation, you might highlight how the role involves problem-solving or pioneering new strategies. If teamwork is central to your ethos, emphasise the collaborative aspects of the position. Remember, it's not just about what the applicant can do for you; it's also about what you can offer them.

By showcasing your unique company culture within your job summary and job description, you’re more likely to attract candidates who will thrive within your business and contribute positively to its future.

Making your job summary stand out and avoiding common mistakes

A job summary is the opening act to your job description, the hook that pulls potential candidates into the finer details of the job. To make it truly stand out, begin with a strong, enticing statement that encapsulates the job title's essence and its importance within your organisation. Use clear, concise language, focusing on the impact the role can have on the company's success. Remember, you're not just advertising a job; you're selling an opportunity for candidates to contribute, grow, and succeed.

One powerful tool at your disposal is action verbs. These dynamic words, such as ‘lead,’ ‘develop,’ ‘manage,’ or ‘coordinate,’ infuse your job description summary with energy and clarity, painting a vivid picture of the role and its responsibilities. Action verbs also allow potential candidates to visualise themselves performing the tasks, which can increase engagement and drive applications.

Avoiding common pitfalls is equally crucial. One of the most common mistakes is overcrowding the summary with too many details. Whilst it's important to provide a snapshot of the role, you don't want to overwhelm the reader with too much information upfront. Keep it brief, engaging, and leave the specifics for the detailed job description.

Also, beware of using internal jargon or acronyms that outside candidates may not understand. Keeping the language clear, universally understood, and free of cliches will ensure your job descriptions are accessible and appealing to the widest range of potential applicants.

Job Summary And Job Description Examples

If you are actively creating job summaries or job descriptions, or researching how to prepare a job description or what to include in a job specification, we have several resources you will find immensely useful. Our job description template gives you the ideal layout and job description structure, helping you pen the perfect job posting.

Further to our standard job description template, you can visit our job description library or one of the business sectors listed below to find job summary examples and samples you can use to write a job description:

Job Summary For Job Descriptions FAQs

Here we answer your questions on creating a well-written job description to attract qualified candidates by adding a job summary:

  • Crafting a summary of a job description involves distilling the main aspects of the role into a concise and compelling overview. You should keep the job title concise and highlight the key responsibilities, necessary qualifications, nice-to-have skills, and brief details about the company and its culture. Start with a punchy sentence that encapsulates the essence of the job, then follow it up with a brief outline of what the role entails.

  • The difference between a job description and a job summary lies in their depth and function. A job description is a comprehensive document outlining the responsibilities, specific skills, qualifications, and experience required for the role. It may also include details about the work environment, reporting structure, and company benefits (salary range). In contrast, a job summary is a brief overview of the role. It's a condensed version of the job description designed to give potential candidates a quick snapshot of what the job involves.

  • Improving your job description involves several steps. Firstly, use clear, concise language and avoid industry jargon to ensure it's understandable to all potential candidates. Secondly, make sure it accurately reflects the requirements of the role - outline the key responsibilities, necessary qualifications, and must-have skills precisely. Include both hard and soft skills, and distinguish between 'must-have' and 'nice-to-have' qualifications. Lastly, align the job description with your company culture and values. This gives candidates an idea of what it's like to work for your company and can help attract those who align with your ethos. Remember, a well-crafted job description is crucial in attracting the right talent for your role and helping candidates decide if they are a match.


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