Writing a job description

Writing an effective job description for your vacancy is a crucial step in the recruitment process. A badly written job description could result in you either being flooded with unsuitable applicants, or worse still, having no applicants for your job.

In order to maximise your chances of attracting high quality candidates for your vacancy, it is important that you write a good job description.

A well-written job description is useful in a number of ways:

  • To give an applicant full details of the job they are applying for.
  • To help an interviewer understand the job they are recruiting for.
  • To provide an indication to applicants of what would be expected of them in this role.
  • To give Managers a clear indication as to what they should be asking their staff to do.
  • To help form a company record of the different jobs within the organisation.
  • To assist in writing and placing job advertisements.

The main points to bear in mind whilst writing your job description are as follows:

  • Describe the skills and requirements of the job, not the skills and requirements of the current jobholder.
  • The job description should be clear, objective and accurate. Avoid over-stating or under-stating the requirements of the job.
  • The job description should be no more than two pages long.

A complete scientific job description should include the following:

  • The job title
  • The department
  • The location
  • The purpose of the job
  • Who the person reports to
  • Any supervisory duties
  • Accountabilities
  • Main duties
  • Working conditions (e.g. hours of work)
  • Qualifications and experience
  • Salary and benefits
  • Prospects
  • Any other relevant information that you think is pertinent to the job

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