How To Write a Job Description: A job description includes the following elements: job title, job function, job duties, and responsibilities. It also contains required qualifications and preferred qualifications.
The Job Title (1-4 words) is a short description of the job that reflects the content, purpose, and scope of the job. It is consistent with other job titles within Wright State University (University).
These include Archivist, Associate Director of Disability Services Associate Registrar, and Director of Student Health Services. Facilities Planner, Grants Accountant. Budget Analyst. Instructional Designer. Manager Desktop Services.
Purpose of the Job
The Job Purpose gives a high-level overview of the role, level, and scope of responsibility. It consists of three to four sentences that provide a basic understanding of the role. The job purpose is a concise overview of why the job exists.
Responsibilities and Job Duties
This section describes the duties and responsibilities of the job. Also known as the essential functions, These are the essential functions of the job, which take up a lot of time for employees. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Explanatory phrases that explain why, how, and where the tasks or duties are performed should be included.
Concentrate on the end result of tasks.
Refer to areas where one can influence or have an impact on decision-making.
Identify areas where you have direct or indirect accountability.
Please describe the financial or budgetary responsibilities.
Please describe the contact nature, the people contacted, and how the incumbent will interact within and outside the University.
Make sure you list job duties that correspond to the requirements of the position and do not base them on the abilities of one person.
Also, if applicable, address the supervisory responsibility associated with this job. Define the authority of the job to hire, discipline, and terminate subordinates, as well as the ability to train and evaluate their performance.
This may be a separate job responsibility or an item that is included in another job function. Below are the different levels of supervision.
Give direction to others
Supervises, employs, trains, gives direction to students, and provides problem-solving support. Supervises and trains other staff.
Supervises staff including scheduling and assigning work. Reviews performance and makes recommendations for salary increases, transfers, demotions, or terminations.
Supervises subordinates to manage others
You should list job duties according to their importance and/or frequency. These duties are usually presented in a bulleted format or numbered format. Each one is assigned a “percent” (adding 100%), which represents the employee average time over the year. You should combine duties that take less than 5 percent of your time with other tasks or remove them from the job description. This table will help you estimate the time required.
This section lists the necessary job knowledge (e.g., education, experience, and skills) to perform the job. This section is about the minimum qualifications required to perform and succeed in this job.
NOTE: Required qualifications for classified jobs will be the same as those in the job description.
Recognize the education requirements that employees must have to be able to perform their job duties and responsibilities. Describe the educational qualifications required to be able to enter this job.
Determine the minimum amount of experience needed in terms of years, and what type of work experience an employee must have to be qualified for the job. This will be required to specify whether internships, undergraduate work experience, or graduate assistantships are acceptable levels of experience.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
When defining the knowledge needed, be sure to include the depth or level of knowledge that is required for entry into the job. These definitions will be useful:
Working knowledge: A basic understanding of the subject is required to be able to comprehend and solve simple problems.
General knowledge is sufficient knowledge in a field to be able to do most work in everyday situations. This work requires comprehension of standard situations and knowledge of the most important aspects of the subject.
Advanced knowledge: A thorough knowledge of the subject matter. To be able to solve both unusual and common problems in work, the work requires a good understanding of the subject matter.
Comprehensive knowledge is a complete understanding and mastery of the subject. This term should not be used in excess and should only be used for extremely responsible or demanding positions that require the creation of hypotheses, concepts, or approaches.
Identify the skills and/or capabilities that the incumbent must have to succeed in this role. Include the identification of any licenses or certifications. Analytical, budget exposure, communication internally or externally, computer and creative thinking, and customer service.
To determine whether a person is able to perform well in this job, a more detailed list of the Required Qualifications may be useful. These Preferred Qualifications can be considered “nice to possess”, but they are not necessary for the jobs day-to-day operations. The Preferred Qualifications, if included, can be focused on any or all of the following: education and experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities.
NOTE: The University does not offer preferred qualifications for classified jobs.
Conditions of Employment
Identify the physical and working conditions that are directly related to your essential job duties and responsibilities in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Define the nature, frequency, duration, and intensity of mental or physical abilities required. Take a look at the following:
Environments, such as the outdoors or in an office. Exposed to hazardous materials, loud sounds, extreme heat/cold, and other noises. You must meet certain physical requirements such as standing, climbing, stooping, or typing.
Lifting/physical effort, such as sedentary–up to 10 pounds; light–up to 20 pounds; medium–up to 50 pounds; and heavy–over 50 pounds. Indicate whether you are required to work weekends or nights and if you will be available for an emergency call.
Emergency staff designations.
Tips for writing job descriptions
To ensure that the job description is clear and understandable, it should be written in such a way that each component is clearly stated. These are some tips to help you get started.
Use a direct, concise style to write
Use the simpler word, not the more complicated ones. Keep sentences as simple as possible. This will reduce verbiage, simplify your description, and improve understanding.
Use descriptive action verbs in the present tense (for instance: writes, operates, or performs).
Avoid acronyms and abbreviations. They may not be understood by others who read the job description. Abbreviations or acronyms that are required, be sure to define them immediately.
Do not use ambiguous terms. Use terms like “assists handles and performs” to describe how the position assists, handles, or performs. Clarify any ambiguity by using the word “by” followed by detailed descriptions of the tasks or operations that were performed.
Avoid using gender-specific language such as “He manages,” or “She is responsible.”
Concentrate on the essential tasks and ignore trivial or occasional duties.
Do not refer to other employees names. Instead, use the job title or department.
Do not include future duties. Do not include future duties, and remove any tasks that are no longer necessary.