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.
Browse our job descriptions to find out about typical responsibilities and employers for each role, so you can see what’s involved and who might hire you. Some roles are open to applicants from any degree background, while others require specific degrees or postgraduate qualifications and a few are also open to non-graduates. Make sure you check the training and qualifications required. Filter by career sector to explore clusters of related job descriptions and hone your ideas about the kind of role that would suit you.
A job description typically consists of six major components: 1) essential job functions; 2) knowledge and critical skills; 3) physical demands; 4) environmental factors; 5) the roles of the ADA and other federal laws such as the Occupational Safety Health Act (OSH Act); and 6) any explanatory information that may be necessary to clarify job duties or responsibilities.
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.
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