How to Write a Good Job Description

Jun 03, 2014

Job interview candidateKnowing how to write a good job description will save you time and money because you will need to interview fewer people, and the ones who you do interview will be closer to what you need.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a good description includes the major position an employee will take in the company. It must also contain performance expectations and job requirements.

Although it may sound simple, it is not as easy as you might think. Job descriptions, the SBA wrote, must be flexible but not too general. They must be particular, but also include many of the other possible responsibilities an employee might take in your company.

What to Include

Microsoft wrote in an article that the most bare bones job description must include: Job title, summary, key responsibilities, minimum requirements and physical requirements. The title must catch the eye of the candidate. Don't choose a title no one has ever heard of before. It must resemble something the job-seeker would recognize, according to Microsoft. Many people will pass over a job title if they don't recognize it. For small businesses this may not be a major problem, but it's still best to choose something someone might have heard of before.

The summary gives a basic overview of what your job entails. Microsoft gave the ballpark estimate of length at between a sentence and a paragraph, depending on complexity. The meat of your job description comes in the responsibilities. The University of Pittsburgh's job description writing guide suggested responsibilities be considered in terms of key responsibilities, such as "manage the budget," or "ensure equipment is installed properly and on time." Another way to do this is to think of what the employee will do every day, every week and every month. The responsibilities are then listed by frequency.

How to Be Specific

Forbes recommends employers avoid using generic job descriptions; for example: "This job will need good people skills." Although this description might be good for someone who has to wear a lot of hats, such as installing equipment and also selling equipment in the store, it may not be as effective if the applicant will only be required to work in sales. It is just expected that sales personnel will be good at selling something. Instead, you might state that the job requires a thorough knowledge of the specific brands of audio equipment your company sells. Specificity will narrow down the number of applicants, but all of the applicants will be just the kind you want.

One thing you can always include in your job descriptions is a request for someone with specific credentials, such as CEDIA certification. This will further narrow down the job pool to only the best possible choices.

Looking for more business and operations insights? Browse CEDIA's Online Training offerings, including such titles as:

1 Comment

  1. 1 Rohit 19 Apr
    This is freaking awesome.



CEDIA blog posts are intended to provide general information and should not be regarded as legal opinions or advice.

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