Writing Job Descriptions: Part 1 – Why Are they Important?
Writing Job Descriptions: Part 2 – Formatting
Writing Job Descriptions: Part 3 – Written Content – Job Information
Writing Job Descriptions: Part 4 – Written Content – Job Description
Writing Job Descriptions: Part 5 – Written Content – Company Information
Writing Job Descriptions: Part 6 – The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing your Job Description
Writing Job Descriptions: Part 7 – Template
This article is written to provide you with details on what written content is typically captured in a job description.
In part 2 of this series, we discussed formatting job descriptions and why it is important to limit the different formats used and to keep it aligned with your company’s branding initiatives. As a quick refresher, it is recommended to limit visual stimulation in your job descriptions so applicants remain focused on the written content rather than being distracted elsewhere. As well as that your job descriptions can be considered another tool that your company uses to market its brand and professional image to the public!
In this part, we are going to discuss written content. As mentioned before, an effective job description should pertain information which is directly related to the position and should typically take 2 minutes to read and understand, which is why we recommend keeping the document clutter-free and easy to read.
Sections and Written Content
When it comes to writing your job description, we suggest using Headers to split the job description into sections for the different components that are directly related to the position. By splitting the written content into defined sections, the applicants are visually aware of when they will be moving on to a new topic relating to the position.
When it comes to the written content under each section, ensure to include information that is relevant to that topic, refrain from jumping around or including details that relate to another component of the position. When you keep your written content aligned to the section structure, applicants remain focused on one topic, which increases comprehension.
With that in mind, let’s start breaking down writing your job description, starting with the Job Information Section.
Job Information Section
It’s important that this section is at the forefront before you begin digging into the details of positions roles and responsibilities. This way applicants are at first exposed to the position’s job information and employment expectations, giving them the opportunity to decide if they want to continue reading.
Position Title: it is recommended to confirm the position’s title first, so applicants are aware of the job description they are about to read. There could be instances where applicants incorrectly select a weblink and are brought to a different position, which could lead them to reading the wrong description.
Pro Tip: When it comes to position titles within your organization, it is best practice to ensure that the position title relates to the main function of the role and is not lengthy or convoluted. We recommend refraining from using position titles that are vague or very specific. Below are a few examples:
Good Position Titles
- Program Director
- Administrative Assistant, Program
- IT Systems Analyst
Needs Improvement Position Titles
- Director of the Program
- Assistant to Director of the Program
- Systems Programmer II
If your company has multiple positions with the same title but have different job responsibilities or report to different departments, we recommend providing clarification around it such as:
- Financial Accountant, Royalties
- Financial Accountant, Revenue
- Administrative Assistant, Finance
- Administrative Assistant, Operations
- HR Advisor, Recruitment
- HR Advisor, Compensation
Job Type: Here is where you will confirm the position’s employment type and classification, this way the applicant is aware if the position is for the short or long-term and if they will be expected to work full-time or part-time. It’s important to be transparent about the job type from the start, so applicants do not waste their time reading about a job (that sounds amazing), only to find out later in the description that the employment term is not what they are looking for.
Examples of job types (employee class) are like, but not limited to: Permanent, Term, Temporary, Casual, Consultant which includes Full-Time or Part-Time even stating if the FTE is a 1.0, 0.80, 0.70, etc.
Department: Here is where you will confirm what department the position will be employed for. Generally, applicants gain further insight about a position when they know what department they will be working for.
Reporting Manager: Here is where you will confirm which position this role is reporting to. This provides some insight to the company’s organizational structure.
Work Location: It is important to be transparent about where the position will be primarily located. As geographical location is one key components applicants look at when they are applying for new job opportunities. If you want to add further details outlining a specific job site location (Head Office, Field Operations), feel free to include it.
Now that we have explained why it is important to separate your written content into different sections, providing only details pertaining to that specific area, and to begin writing your job description starting off with the Job Information Section. Please stay tuned for part 4 of this series when we discuss the Job Description Section where we will provide details on what information is generally captured when writing an effective job description.
Remember Recruitment Marketing 101, keep your job descriptions clear, clutter-free, and transparent so applicants remain focused on the various components relating to the job and are aware of the position’s information and employment expectations.