When detailing qualifications on job descriptions, employers typically require certain knowledge, skills, aptitude, training, and previous experience. Employers should remember that these qualifications might be gained in a number of ways. For example, knowledge may be gained through education, training, or experience. In addition, other requirements, such as the possession of a driver’s license could be considered discriminatory. For example, it may be necessary to specify that an individual must be "available to attend evening meetings throughout the community" and "possess a driver’s license” but an employer should distinguish between need and convenience and consider any discriminatory effects. An employee with a disability may be able to attend a meeting via teleconference or access public transportation to attend the meeting on site.
Of course, the job description should specify education, previous job experience, certifications and technical skills required for the role. You may also include soft skills, like communication and problem solving, as well as personality traits that you envision for a successful hire. While you may be tempted to list out every requirement you envision for your ideal hire, including too many qualifications and skills could dissuade potential candidates.
Employers should develop job descriptions that clearly define the essential functions of every job before advertising the job or interviewing applicants. A job description should have clear, concise, non-technical language, and avoid unnecessary words. The job description should focus on words that have a single meaning with detailed explanations for words that may be interpreted differently. Each sentence should begin with an active verb and use the present tense. Examples of job functions should be provided. The desired outcome of the work should be described, rather than one method for accomplishing that outcome. For example, instead of "writes down notes during meetings" put "records notes during weekly meetings." Writers should avoid using gender-specific language, jargon, technical language, proprietary names (Xerox), and ambiguity.
What are some tips on how to write a professional job description? Make sure the title of the job position and description match. Do your research. If you are not familiar with the job, talk to someone who is and have them help with the description. Make sure it clearly defines the goals of the position and a timeline for reaching them.