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Writing Job Descriptions: Part 6 – The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing your Job Description

5 mins read

This article is written to provide you with the Do’s and Don’ts of writing your job description.

In the previous parts of this series, we discussed setting up your job description template and what information is typically included. In the 6th part of this series, we will discuss the Do’s and Don’ts when writing your job description’s contents.

Do:

    • Provide enough detail about the position that applicants can easily understand what the job’s expectations are and what is required of the role.
    • Stick to the basics of the job requirements and skills that are directly related to the position. The description should only highlight the position, primary responsibilities, skills, qualifications, and working conditions.
    • Focus on the essential functions of the position, without stating how these functions must be performed.
    • When it comes to working conditions, provide details on any physical demands that may be required by the position and if they are required to complete a pre-hiring/pre-employment test before they begin working.
    • Explain the work environment, specify if the position is required to be at a specific location or if it is remote.
    • Keep the sentence structure and written content as simple as possible.
    • Begin each primary responsibility with an action verb.
    • Refer to job titles rather than personal names for confidentiality purposes, this also prevents any issues if the person you refer to no longer works for the company.
    • Provide an executive role summary describing the purposes of the position.

Don’t:

    • Avoid being vague with the written content, poorly written job descriptions often result in unqualified candidates applying for the position, which can extend the hiring process and waste time.
    • If the position is a replacement, refrain from writing the job description based on how the previous employee may have performed the job.
    • Refrain from going into long detailed descriptions. This can frequently confuse applicants.
    • If the activity is less then 10% of the position’s duties, you do not need to include it in the job description.
    • Try to refrain from using narrative writing styles when creating your job description.
    • Refrain from tailoring a job description based on a certain incumbent, you always want to ensure you are not pigeonholing yourself and narrowing your options.
    • The job description is not the place to write a step-by-step guide on how to do the job.
    • Avoid using words that could be interpreted as age discrimination, gender inequality, or other potential human rights misdemeanours.

By taking the time to accurately write a job description and analyze the responsibilities and duties to be performed, you can attract quality applicants with the qualifications you are looking for and hire a trusted employee that adds value to your company! Remember, the job description serves as a starting point for what you, as the employer, believe to be the essential and critical job duties, so be realistic with the expectations.

This brings us to the end of our series on writing an effective job description. Now that you understand how to create a job description template, what written content to include, and the do’s and don’ts of writing a job description, you are ready to start putting it all together to create a job description that meets the standard branding initiatives put forth by your company to attract the right applicants that you are looking for.

Please stay tuned for an additional part 7 of this series where we will provide you with a downloadable template to use!

Download this resource Writing Job Descriptions: Part 6 – The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing your Job Description (pdf).

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Visit our Resource Library for all available downloads.

If you require assistance with any of the guides, forms or templates, please contact a BIG representative.

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