How to write a good job description

General guidelines on what to include in job descriptions have evolved over the years, making it simpler for employers to write them and for potential applicants to read them. Here are nine essential details to include in your company’s job descriptions:

Job Title & Summary: Develop a job title for the position you’re looking to fill — the title and level (assistant, senior, lead, etc.) should accurately reflect the work that the employee will perform. Be sure to choose a job title that reflects your industry’s standards and organization’s culture. Once you’ve defined the position, write a brief description of the purpose of the position and an overview of the position’s main responsibilities. This summary should be short and to the point — one to three sentences should suffice.

Key Responsibilities: List all of the essential functions of the position at hand. Generally, this includes between five and 10 responsibilities. Begin each responsibility with a present-tense, action verb — “research social media trends” or “mock up new UI graphics” are good examples. Be transparent about how frequently a task will be performed or what percentage of the employee’s time will be spent with each task. This helps applicants form an idea of what a typical day may look like.

Department & Supervisor: Include details on who the person would report to and where that person falls within the company’s structure.

Skills & Qualifications: List all qualifications that are mandatory, along with those that are preferred. Such qualifications should include skills, years of experience, certifications, licenses, education level and necessary technical proficiencies.

Company Overview: While it is ideal that a candidate would already know essential details about the hiring company, it is helpful for potential applicants to have a description of the company (as written by the company) at hand. Include information about the company’s mission, goals, industry and headquarters location. Other useful details could include the number of states and countries where the company is present, number of employees, annual sales and so on.

Location: Include details on where the position is located. If travel is necessary, note what percentage of time the employee will spend traveling and where he or she will be traveling.

Type of Employment: Be very clear about whether the position is full-time or part-time. If the position is an internship, note whether it will be paid or unpaid — be sure that the internship follows the six federal legal criteria if it is unpaid.

Salary Range & Benefits: If your company is open to publicizing the position’s salary range and benefits , vacation days, or medical and dental insurance), include those details within the job description.

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