Job descriptions are your gateway to finding the ideal candidates. In mid-2023, with 8.8 million new job openings, learning how to write a job description is just the first step in successfully attracting top talent.
In this article, we’ll delve into the art of crafting job descriptions that not only stand out but also resonate with potential candidates, providing them with a clear understanding of what you’re looking for in your next team member.
What Is a Job Description?
A job description is akin to a job manual within a company. It provides insights into the job’s nature, responsibilities and required qualifications.
Here’s why a job description matters:
- Clarifies the role: It ensures that the job’s nature is well defined, benefiting both current employees and prospective applicants by outlining its core tasks.
- Streamlines hiring: It operates as a job advertisement, detailing the necessary skills and qualifications. This helps identify the most suitable candidate.
- Establishes expectations: It delineates what the job entails, benefiting both employees and their supervisors by setting clear job expectations.
- Ensures compliance: It often encompasses legal provisions to ensure the company adheres to employment laws during recruitment and employee management.
- Fosters career development: It serves as a blueprint for an employee’s career progression within the organization.
A study shows that 14% of startups fail because they lack the right team. A good job description can bring you one step closer to attracting qualified talent from the get-go.
In essence, a job description serves as a roadmap for understanding a job, facilitating the hiring process, managing employees effectively and planning for future growth.
What Should a Job Description Include?
Wondering what to put in a job description? Let’s break down what you should include to make it effective and informative.
The job title serves as the official name of the position and plays a crucial role in attracting candidates—mainly because it’s the first thing candidates see.
It should be both clear and accurate to give prospective applicants a solid understanding of the role’s nature and level within the organization.
This concise yet informative section offers a snapshot of the role. It highlights key responsibilities, objectives and the role’s significance within the company.
A well-crafted job summary acts as a quick reference for candidates, helping them determine if the position aligns with their career goals and skills.
In this section, you provide a brief but compelling introduction to your organization. It should encompass your company’s mission, values, organizational culture and any unique attributes that set it apart from competitors.
This information helps candidates gauge whether your company aligns with their values and aspirations.
Responsibilities and Duties
This segment outlines the core tasks and obligations tied to the role. It should strike a balance between comprehensiveness and brevity, focusing on the most critical responsibilities.
Here, you specify the qualifications, skills and experience required for the position. Make a clear distinction between mandatory qualifications and preferred ones, if applicable.
Including details such as educational requirements, certifications and years of experience provides candidates with a clear understanding of what’s expected.
This section sheds light on the organizational hierarchy, particularly the supervisor to whom the employee will report. It may also indicate whether the role involves overseeing or managing other team members.
This information helps candidates visualize their position within the company’s structure.
Compensation and Benefits
Here, you offer insights into the compensation package, benefits and any additional incentives tied to the role. Mentioning competitive salary ranges, appealing benefits and unique perks can significantly attract potential candidates to your job posting.
How To Write a Job Description in 7 Easy Steps
With these easy-to-follow guidelines, you’ll write a job description that grabs attention and gets the job done!
1. Write a Clear Job Title
Choose a clear job title: Select a job title that accurately reflects the role’s nature and seniority level. Avoid vague or overly complex titles.
- Example: Instead of Manager, write Digital Marketing Manager.
Include seniority level (optional): If relevant, add a term like “Junior,” “Senior” or “Entry-Level” to indicate the position’s level.
- Example: Senior Software Developer
2. Craft a Compelling Job Summary
Highlight key responsibilities: Summarize the primary tasks and objectives of the role in 2–3 sentences.
- Example: As a Digital Marketing Manager, you will lead our online marketing efforts, including SEO, SEM and social media campaigns.
Convey impact: Mention how the role contributes to the company’s goals or mission.
- Example: Your work will drive brand visibility and customer engagement, ultimately boosting online sales.
3. Describe Your Company Accurately
Define your company’s identity:
Mission: Begin by stating your organization’s mission, which encapsulates its purpose and primary goals.
- Example: At XYZ Inc., our mission is to revolutionize the way people interact with technology, making it more accessible and user-friendly.
Values: Describe the core values that guide your company’s actions and decisions.
- Example: Our company values include innovation, integrity and teamwork. These principles shape everything we do.
Culture: Offer insights into your company’s workplace culture, such as its atmosphere, collaboration style and employee interactions.
- Example: We foster a dynamic and collaborative work environment where every team member’s voice is heard and innovation is celebrated.
Highlight unique selling points:
Flexible work policies: Mention specific policies or benefits that make your company stand out.
- Example: Our company’s flexible remote work policy allows employees to find a healthy work-life balance, providing the freedom to choose where they work best.
Employee growth: Highlight your commitment to employee development and career advancement.
- Example: What truly differentiates us is our dedication to employee growth. We offer ongoing training, mentorship programs and clear pathways for career advancement.
Achievements: If applicable, showcase any awards, recognitions or notable achievements that emphasize your company’s excellence.
- Example: We’re honored to have received the “Innovator of the Year” award for our groundbreaking contributions to the industry. This reflects our commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology.
4. Outline Responsibilities and Duties
List essential tasks: Outline the core responsibilities in a bulleted list for clarity. Here are examples of responsibilities and duties for a waitress.
- Greet and seat guests courteously.
- Take food and beverage orders, ensuring accuracy.
- Communicate with and relay orders to the kitchen staff.
- Maintain a clean and tidy dining area.
- Handle customer inquiries and process payments.
Keep it focused: Include only the most important duties to avoid overwhelming candidates.
5. Specify Qualifications
List mandatory qualifications: Write down the essential qualifications, such as education, certifications or experience.
- Strong communication and customer service skills.
- Previous restaurant or customer service experience.
- Ability to stand for extended periods and lift items.
- Knowledge of food safety and hygiene.
- High school diploma or equivalent.
Add preferred qualifications (optional): Include skills or qualifications that would be beneficial but aren’t mandatory.
- Experience with point-of-sale (POS) systems.
- Certification in responsible alcohol service.
- Familiarity with the menu.
- Multilingual abilities to assist diverse customers.
6. Explain the Reporting Structure
Identify the immediate supervisor: Mention the title and department of the role’s direct manager.
- Example: Reports to the Marketing Director.
Note any supervisory responsibilities (if applicable): Indicate if the role involves managing other team members.
- Example: Oversees a team of three digital marketers.
7. Detail Compensation and Benefits
Provide salary range: Specify the expected salary range for the position.
- Example: Competitive salary range of $65,000–$83,000 per year.
- Example: Comprehensive health coverage, 401(k) matching and monthly wellness stipend.
By following these steps and including relevant details, your job description will be clear, informative and appealing to potential candidates.
Dos and Don’ts for Writing a Job Description
Creating a good job description is vital when looking to attract top talent. To help you do it right, here are some important things you should and shouldn’t do.
Dos for Writing a Job Description:
1. Use Inclusive Language
Do use gender-neutral language and avoid any terms that may inadvertently exclude certain demographics. Inclusivity promotes diversity and attracts a wider range of candidates.
- Example: Instead of salesman, use salesperson or sales representative.
2. Highlight Opportunities for Growth
Do mention opportunities for career advancement and growth within the company. Candidates often seek roles that offer long-term development.
- Example: This position provides a clear pathway for career advancement within our organization.
3. Include Keywords for Search Optimization
Do incorporate relevant keywords related to the job and industry. This helps your job description appear in online searches, increasing visibility to potential candidates.
- Example: If hiring a web developer, include keywords like front-end development and web design.
4. Promote Work-Life Balance
Do highlight any work-life balance initiatives or policies, especially if your company offers flexible work arrangements or remote options.
- Example: Our company values work-life balance, offering flexible scheduling and remote work opportunities.
Don’ts for Writing a Job Description
1. Avoid Jargon and Acronyms
Don’t use industry-specific jargon or excessive acronyms that may confuse candidates. Keep the language clear and easily understandable.
- Example: Instead of CPM Analyst, use Cost-Per-Mile Analyst.
2. Don’t Discriminate or Exclude
Don’t include language that could be discriminatory or exclusive. Ensure your job description welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds.
- Example: Avoid specifying an age range, such as Seeking candidates aged 25–30.
3. Avoid Unrealistic Expectations
Don’t set unrealistic expectations for qualifications or experience that may deter potential candidates. Be reasonable and open to candidates with varying levels of expertise.
- Example: Instead of requiring 10 years of experience for an entry-level position, state relevant experience preferred.
4. Don’t Overload with Information
Don’t overwhelm candidates with excessive information. Keep the job description concise and focused on the most critical details. Instead of listing every possible skill, focus on the key qualifications required for success in the role.
5. Avoid Overused Buzzwords
Don’t rely on overused buzzwords and clichés that can make your job description sound generic and unappealing.
- Example: Instead of dynamic team player, provide specific qualities and skills that make a candidate valuable to your team.
Free Job Description Template
If you want help making a job description without starting from scratch, try our Job Description Template. It’s a simple guide on how to write a job description, helping you organize all the important details for a job listing.
Just follow the template, fill in the info and you’ll have a complete job description in no time.
Get our free Job Description Template!
"*" indicates required fields
Job Description Examples
Here are some complete job description examples to help you get a better grasp of how they’re done.
Job Description Example 1 – Job Title: Barista
Job summary: As a barista at ABC Café, you’ll deliver exceptional coffee and customer service. You’ll create a welcoming atmosphere for our guests and ensure they enjoy a memorable visit.
Company description: At ABC Café, we’re passionate about serving the finest coffee and offering an inviting space for our community to connect. We work with local farmers and strive for quality and sustainability in everything we do and create. We also offer memorable and even educational experiences with every cup we brew.
Responsibilities and Duties:
- Prepare and serve a variety of coffee beverages, following our recipes and quality standards.
- Ensure a clean and well-organized workspace, including maintaining equipment.
- Provide outstanding customer service by engaging with guests, taking orders, and offering menu recommendations.
- Handle cash transactions accurately and maintain the cash register.
- Uphold health and safety guidelines, including food handling and sanitation procedures.
- Restock supplies and monitor inventory levels to ensure product availability.
- Contribute to a positive team dynamic, supporting fellow team members.
- Related experience (in a customer service role) is preferred.
- Good customer service skills with a friendly and approachable character.
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and handle multiple tasks with accuracy.
- Strong communication skills and a willingness to engage with guests.
- Basic math skills for cash handling.
- Flexibility to work mornings, evenings, weekends and holidays as needed.
Reporting Structure: This position reports to the Café Manager and may involve collaboration with other team members.
Compensation and Benefits:
- Competitive hourly wage commensurate with experience.
- Opportunities for tips and incentives based on performance.
- Paid time off and emergency or sick leaves.
- Employee discounts on our products.
- Potential for career growth within our organization.
- Customer service, management and barista training opportunities.
Join our team at ABC Café and be a part of our community dedicated to delivering incomparable coffee experiences!
See our complete barista job description.
Job Description Example 2 – Job Title: Sous Chef
Job Summary: As a Sous Chef at XYZ Restaurant, you’ll play a crucial role in our culinary team, assisting the Head Chef in creating exceptional dishes and maintaining kitchen operations.
Company Description: At XYZ Restaurant, we’re committed to crafting memorable dining experiences through innovative cuisine and top-notch service. Our Michelin-starred restaurant is known for its quality, creativity and welcoming atmosphere.
Responsibilities and Duties:
- Work with the Head Chef to plan and execute menu selections.
- Supervise kitchen staff, delegate tasks and ensure a positive work environment.
- Manage inventory, order supplies and control food costs.
- Maintain food safety and sanitation standards.
- Prepare and cook dishes, ensuring quality and consistency.
- Oversee food preparation during service.
- Previous experience as a sous chef.
- Culinary degree or relevant certification (preferred).
- Strong leadership and organizational skills.
- Knowledge of kitchen equipment and cooking techniques.
- Understanding of food safety and sanitation.
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
Reporting Structure: This position reports to the Head Chef and collaborates with the kitchen team.
Compensation and Benefits:
- Competitive salary based on experience.
- Performance-based incentives.
- Paid time off and sick leaves.
- Employee discounts.
- Professional development and training.
- Career advancement opportunities.
Join our culinary team at XYZ Restaurant and contribute your talent to creating extraordinary dining experiences!
See our complete sous chef job description.
Find Job Descriptions on OysterLink
OysterLink, your premier job and network platform, is here to help you find the job descriptions you need to make informed decisions.
What OysterLink offers:
- Extensive job listings: Explore a vast array of job descriptions from top-tier companies representing diverse industries.
- In-depth insights: Gain comprehensive knowledge about each role, including responsibilities, qualifications and perks.
- Career-boosting resources: Access a treasure trove of articles, insights and resources designed to elevate your career.
Don’t miss out on top talent and industry insights. Join OysterLink today and find the talent you need!