A job description is more than a series of sentences outlining the job duties. An effective job description will draw in more qualified candidates while also serving as an advertisement for your company culture. Job descriptions can take many forms, but they typically should have at least six main components.
1. Job identifier/title/location/classification status such as exempt or non-exempt
2. Introduction of company
3. Core job responsibilities
4. Requirements (must haves) i.e. 2 years programming experience
5. Desired skills i.e. SAP HANA is preferred but not required
6. Legal terms and conditions
A job identifier helps you to easily track the activity associated with you position opening. A simple identifier could be the year followed by a series of numbers: 2019-56901. Have an identifiable job title so candidates can easily locate your job while searching on the web. Don’t post titles like Rock Star Engineer, be concise and specific with titles such as Sr. level Electrical Engineer.
Unless your company name is Google or Microsoft there’s a chance the candidate doesn’t know the nature of your business. Include a brief description of what your company does and why your company is an appealing place for employment.
When describing the core job duties avoid vague action verbs, instead, use precise language to provide candidates with the most accurate description. Don’t overwhelm candidates with too many functions that you want this person to handle. If that is the case, consider adding a “catch-all” bullet at the end of your list such as “Additional responsibilities and tasks as necessary.” This gives the flexibility to add or subtract functions and tasks during the life of the job.
List your top priorities for the role as “must haves” or “required”. This list of skills or requirements are the non-negotiables such as a four-year degree, U.S. citizenship, five years of Java or two years of architect level experience.
After listing the core job duties and the must-have requirements let the candidate know what would be a bonus if they had these certain skills. Listing preferred but not required skills will also let candidates know what they might be able to pick up or learn on the job if they were to get the role. While it might be tempting, avoid using jargon and acronyms as these terms may not be known to all applicants.
At the end of the job description include all necessary legal terms. Following is sample legal wording to end your job description: CompanyX is an EEO and Affirmative Action Employer of Females/Minorities/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities. All employment decisions shall be made without regard to age, race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, or any other basis as protected by federal, state or local law.