Are you still writing new job descriptions every time you have an open role--or worse, adapting each description from the last one you posted? If so, it's time to streamline your process. Creating a job description template can help you reduce time-to-hire, build a stronger candidate pipeline, and make your life easier.
It's worth putting in the effort now to ensure better job descriptions later. A survey showed that 52% of job seekers said that the quality of a job description is "very" or "extremely influential" in their choice to apply to jobs. Grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, even weird formatting can obscure your message and drive away potential hires.
Ready to get started building your job description template? Here's what you need to know.
If you are looking to hire, read this article to learn everything you need to know about job descriptions. Then post your job opening for free on ZipRecruiter. If you want to hire fast, you can also list your open position on other job posting websites.
What Is A Job Description Template?
A job description template is a framework. It provides guidance for hiring managers who are creating specific descriptions for open roles. A good job description template will include elements like the job title, reporting structure, duties, and qualifications. It may also have information about salary ranges, company culture, and organizational goals.
Job descriptions are helpful because they save managers the effort of creating brand-new documents every time they need to post a job listing. They prevent errors from creeping in, such as copying and pasting information from a previous description. These templates also remind hiring managers of the most important sections to include.
All of this saves time, as well as reduces inaccuracies that might make a bad impression on job seekers. According to that same Indeed survey, 65% of employers have had to revise previously posted job descriptions. That's a lot of extra effort for something that you could get right the first time--with a little extra effort early in the process.
How To Create A Job Description Template
If your organization has previously posted job ads or created job descriptions for their current staffers, you can start by reviewing these documents. Which parts of these job descriptions worked and which didn't? Consider the quality of the candidates you've gotten from using these tools, as well as any feedback you've received from applicants regarding their expectations based on what they read in your job listings.
Regardless of whether you're working off of an existing sample or starting from scratch, there are a few key elements that should be included:
- Job title
- Reporting structure
- Summary of the company's value proposition and the role objectives
- Duties and responsibilities
- Requirements and preferences including skills, education, physical requirements, travel, etc.
- Salary and benefits
Note that some of these sections can be broken out or combined and comprise more than one paragraph, as needed. For example, if you're listing a salary range, you might choose to list salary as its own section for emphasis, especially if your compensation is very competitive with the market.
Job Description Template Sample
Use the following example to design your job description template.
List the position title.
The [job title] will report to [position title or titles this position reports to].
Company Value Proposition:
What makes your organization special?
Provide a brief description of the position, what success in the position looks like, what you hope this role will achieve and what problems this role will solve.
Responsibilities and Duties:
- List the essential duties required to carry out this role
- Write in complete sentences, using present tense
- Education level
- Specific skills
- Physical requirements
Job Description Template - More Details
Here is more detail for each section of the job description template.
Choose a job title that's easily understood by the majority of applicants and employers. For example, "Graphic Designer" is better than "Graphics Guru," because it's a term that candidates will use in their searches.
Where does this job fall on the org chart? If the person in this role will manage direct reports, say that as well. Include how many reports and what the work environment will be like, e.g., are they all remote or in-office, full-time or part-time, employees or contractors, etc.
Company Value Proposition
What makes your organization special? This is a good place to tell candidates about the company's culture, values, and goals.
At the top level, what do you hope this role will achieve? There's no need to get into the nitty-gritty of their individual annual goals, but do spend some time talking about what problems this role will solve.
Summary Of Duties And Responsibilities
Be honest about what this employee does on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. What will their days look like and what will they be expected to accomplish over the long term? You don't need to include every single task, but you should give an accurate sense of what the candidate can expect from the job.
Requirements And Preferences
Be judicious about which qualifications and skills you put down as requirements vs. preferences. You may not find a candidate with every quality on your wish list. By listing unnecessary abilities, you might wind up scaring off excellent candidates who would otherwise apply.
Skills and Abilities
Remember that you can teach many hard skills, while soft skills like communication, teamwork, and attention to detail are harder to coach. Focus first on the most essential abilities and then round out your description with the nice-to-haves.
Education and Training
Again, be ruthless in your editing. Do you need an advanced degree in this position, or is that just what you've always sought? To the extent that you're able, it's often a good idea to focus on what the candidate can do rather than on a piece of paper stating that they can do it.
Does this role need to lift X pounds or stand for Y period of time? Be sure to include that. Just be consistent in your requirements and follow EEOC requirements and state and local law if conducting physical ability tests.
Today's workers have more scheduling options than ever before. If you offer remote work, flexible schedules, or part-time work, be sure to specify this in your job description, as it may help you attract candidates. On the other hand, if the role demands travel or a set schedule, state that also. It will help weed out candidates who are looking for different schedules.
A growing number of state and local governments are rolling out legislation requiring employers to state a salary range in their job listings. Even if your organization is not located in one of these areas, including a competitive range can help you stand out from other employers.
Benefits And Perks
Include any standard benefits like health insurance, dental coverage, retirement plans, etc., but also consider extra perks like flexible schedules, gym reimbursement, or company tickets to local cultural events.
Why Use A Job Description Template?
The main reason to use a job description template is that it saves time, effort, and money. The clearer you are about your company's requirements, the easier it will be to match up with candidates who meet your needs.
Helps Attract The Right Employees
Writing a solid job description shows commitment to your work and your future employees. It's a great way of building your brand as an employer. It also helps candidates see what you have to offer, which increases the chances of finding qualified applicants. Best of all, it will weed out candidates who wouldn't be happy or successful at your company--a big time savings for all involved.
Do you want to learn more about attracting the right employees? Check out our guide to job recruiting strategies.
Is there anything worse than posting a public-facing document and discovering that it's full of typos, grammatical errors, or misstatements of fact? Depending on how your organization is structured, you might wind up hearing about that mistake from five different people in the five minutes it takes to solve the problem. Working from a template reduces the risk of making these errors.
It's always faster to work from a template than to write from scratch. Having a template in your pocket also helps you remember what your goals are when hiring new staff, which cuts down on time spent brainstorming.
Reduces Scope Creep
One reason to avoid reusing old job descriptions is that it's easy to add additional duties and qualifications without taking away any of the old ones. This can lead to a long, unwieldy job description that bears little resemblance to one that would actually describe the role. You might even wind up with contradictory qualifications, e.g. "entry-level developer with five years of experience in C++."
Job Description Examples
Here are some examples of job descriptions. You can use these job descriptions and our tips above to create your own job description template.
- Marketing Manager Job Description
- Customer Support Executive Job Description
- Computer Teacher Job Description
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I write a job description?
The best way to write a job description is to speak to employees who already have that job and managers who supervise the role. Ask them which qualifications and duties are most essential to success in the job. Then, fill out your job description template to reflect those elements.
What makes a good job description?
A good job description is specific, succinct, and demonstrates what the role has to offer the candidate. Don't forget to tout your company's values and the perks and benefits of taking the role.
What are the main sections of a job description?
The main sections of a job description are: job title, reporting structure, summary, duties and responsibilities, requirements and preferences, and compensation/benefits.
What are the job description qualification examples?
An example of a job description qualifications section is, "We are looking for a bank teller with at least two years of experience, a high school diploma or equivalent, excellent communication and customer service skills, and the ability to pass a background check."
How do I write my own job description?
While we most often think of job descriptions in the context of an employer hiring for a role, there are times when employees may choose to write their own job descriptions. This can help you negotiate for a raise or promotion. When writing your own job description, track your achievements, duties, and tasks. Quantify your wins whenever possible.
The Bottom Line
These guidelines can help you develop your own job description templates. You may even want to create multiple guidelines for different roles, reusing sections that are applicable to multiple positions.