Here’s a sample of job descriptions, ranked from good to bad. Looking through them alongside their scores makes it obvious why some are better than others, and is a good exercise to teach yourself to get better at writing them.
A job specification could be considered a more precise job description that details the exact educational degrees, experience, skills, and requirements for a role. In most cases, these terms are used interchangeably and nearly always describe the same document.
Job functions should be qualified whenever possible and the desired outcome of the work should be described, rather than the method for accomplishing that outcome. For example, instead of saying, “she files folders” write that “the clerk files folders alphabetically based on category." Employers should let individuals read their job descriptions, voice any concerns, and sign their descriptions. Job descriptions should be accurate. To ensure accuracy, combine the input of many managers and employees.
The process of developing job descriptions often sheds light on the nature of a job as well as suggests that there are alternative methods of performing essential job tasks. Job analysis may help encourage management and staff to work together in identifying and streamlining the essential and marginal job functions.
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