How to Write an Effective Job Description


How to Write an Effective Job Description

Job descriptions have multiple purposes.

  1. Job descriptions are essential when posting a job. For job posting purposes, a job description is promotional material used to attract people to apply for a job.
  2. The job description should enable hiring managers as well as the applicants understand the requirements and expectations of the available jobs.
  3. Job descriptions are effective guidelines to help all employees understand what a company to does to fulfill its goals.  If all the job descriptions within a company were pinned on a corkboard, the documents should create the pyramid that describes the role and relationship of each person within an organization and list every duty required for a company to achieve its goals.
  4. Managers and the people they manage should be able to use the job description to understand and evaluate a person’s performance
  5. As companies change with changing circumstances, requirements in employment levels and roles will change as well. By monitoring and revising job descriptions for existing positions and by creating jobs descriptions for new positions, a company’s management can become focused on what will be necessary for each employee to meet new requirements placed on the company.

There are six elements to a job description.

The company description has useful and positive information about the industry, goods and services, and accomplishments of the hiring company.  This description is in a block paragraph, which means simply that the first word in the paragraph is not indented.  The paragraph you are currently reading is a block paragraph.

The organization section of the job description includes the following information:

  1. Title of position
  2. Department
  3. Location
  4. Supervisor’s Title (reports to)
  5. Supervisory Responsibilities
  6. Job status: full-time, part-time
  7. Status under the Fair Labor Standards Act
  8. Pay grade

The statement of the position purpose should be a summary of the broad job requirements and responsibilities.  This section spells out in a block paragraph what will be expected of a person who takes on the responsibilities of a position.

The list of duties and responsibilities should provide company-established guidelines for performing the duties of a position.

  1. A specific line-by-line statement of each duty
  2. A statement of the frequency with which the duties will be performed
  3. A statement the departments, employee titles, and outside parties involved in performing the duties
  4. A statement of flexibility in terms of helping with special tasks as these tasks may become necessary for the company to reach its goals


  1. Education
  2. Licenses
  3. Certifications
  4. Credentials
  5. Skills and abilities
  6. Training
  7. Knowledge
  8. Professional training
  9. Equipment or technical skills
  10. Experience


  1. Lifting
  2. Standing
  3. Walking
  4. Hearing
  5. Near and color vision
  6. Fingering (computer keyboard)
  7. Travel
  8. Work environment
  9. Authorization to Work in the United Status

I am not a lawyer. This information is based on my experience in recruiting for dozens of major consumer products companies for over thirty years.

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