Writing an Effective Job Description | Human Resources | Wright State University

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The job description should accurately reflect the duties and responsibilities of the situation. When well-written, it produces a realistic picture of a job and answers the question, “ What does the person in this function actually do ? ”
A job description not merely describes the position ’ sulfur responsibilities, it sets the basis for enroll, developing, and retaining endowment and besides sets the stage for optimum work performance by clarifying responsibilities, expected results, and evaluation of performance. It is besides an authoritative component to maintaining an equitable compensation system and ensuring legal conformity. The document should be revisited and updated in argumentation with the annual performance evaluation cycle.

The job description contains sufficient information to describe major responsibilities and essential functions as they exist today. They provide the information necessity to classify the position, not the person ; therefore they are “ incumbent achromatic ” and not based on any specific quality of an incumbent ( such as cognition, skills, abilities, performance, commitment, loyalty, years of service, or degree ). The text file should not include every contingent of how and what work is performed indeed that it remains useful even when minor changes occur. Job descriptions can be written as a joint effort between supervisor and employee, but the supervisor must approve.

Job Description Components

A job description contains the following components : job deed, subcontract purpose, speculate duties and responsibilities, required qualifications, choose qualifications, and working conditions .

Job Title

The Job Title is a brief description ( 1-4 words ) of the job which reflects the contentedness, purpose, and setting of the job and is reproducible with other job titles of similar roles within Wright State University ( University ) .
Examples include Archivist, Associate Director Disability Services, Associate Registrar, Director Student Health Services, Facilities Planner, Grants Accountant, Budget Analyst, Instructional Designer, Manager Desktop Services, and Manager Custodial Services .

Job Purpose

The Job Purpose provides a high-level overview of the function, degree, and oscilloscope of duty dwell of three or four sentences providing a basic sympathize, the “ bird ’ s eye watch ” of the function. A concise compendious of “ why the speculate exists ? ”

Job Duties and Responsibilities

This section contains a description of the duties and responsibilities assigned to the job ; besides referred to as the essential functions. They describe the fundamental nature of the job which occupies a boastfully proportion of the employee ’ second clock. Some items to consider :

  • Include explanatory phrases which tell why, how, where, or how often the tasks and duties are performed.
  • Focus on the outcome of tasks.
  • Reference areas of decision-making, where one will influence or impact.
  • Identify areas of direct or indirect accountabilities.
  • Describe the level and type of budgetary or financial responsibilities.
  • Describe the nature of contact, the people contacted, and the extent to which the incumbent will interact with others within and outside of the University.
  • List job duties that reflect the position requirements and ensure they are not based upon the capabilities of any one individual.

If applicable, besides address the type of supervisory responsibility that is expected from this function. Detail the extent of the occupation ’ s agency to hire, discipline, end, put exercise, aim, and evaluate the operation of subordinates. This can be either a separate job duty or noted in other job duties as appropriate. The be lists diverse levels of supervision :

  • Provide direction to other individuals.
  • Supervises, hires, trains, provides work direction, and problem-solving assistance for student workers. Also oversees the daily operations of other staff.
  • Supervises staff, including hiring, scheduling, and assigning work, reviewing performance, and recommends salary increases, promotions, transfers, demotions, or terminations.
  • Manages others through subordinate supervisors.

The job duties should be listed in accordance with their importance and/or frequency in which they are performed. They are typically presented in a bulleted or number format, consisting of approximately 4–7 separate duties, with each one assigned a “ percentage of the time ” ( adding to 100 % ) which reflects the calculate time an employee will spend over a year. Duties that require less than 5 percentage of the prison term should be combined with other duties or removed from the job description. The following postpone will assist you in estimating the percentage of time :

Percentage Week Year
5% 2 hours 2 ½ weeks
10% 4 hours  5 weeks
15% 6 hours 1 ½  month
20% 8 hours  2 ½ months
25% 10 hours  3 months

Required Qualifications

This section lists the ask level of job cognition ( such as education, experience, cognition, skills, and abilities ) required to do the job. This section focuses on the “ minimal ” level of qualifications for an individual to be productive and successful in this function .
eminence : For classified jobs, the necessitate qualifications will be identical to those listed on the caper specification .


Identify the educational qualifications that an employee must possess to satisfactorily perform the job duties and responsibilities. State the educational qualifications in terms of areas of study and/or character of degree or assiduity that would provide the cognition required for entrance into this position .


Identify the minimum number of full-time feel required in terms of years and the type of work have that an employee needs to be qualified for the job. Should internships, undergraduate work experience, and graduate assistantships be accepted levels of experience ; this will need to be specifically stated .

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

In stating the command cognition, include the level or astuteness of cognition required for entry into the position. The succeed definitions should be helpful :

  • Working knowledge: sufficient familiarity with the subject to know basic principles and terminology and to understand and solve simple problems.
  • General knowledge: sufficient knowledge of a field to perform most work in normal situations. The work calls for comprehension of standard situations and includes knowledge of most of the significant aspects of the subject.
  • Thorough knowledge: advanced knowledge of the subject matter. The work calls for sufficient comprehension of the subject area to solve unusual as well as common work problems, to be able to advise on technical matters and to serve as a resource on the subject for others in the organization.
  • Comprehensive knowledge: requires complete mastery and understanding of the subject. This term should be used sparingly and only for unusually exacting or responsible positions required to originate hypotheses, concepts, or approaches.

list specific skills and/or abilities required for the incumbent to be successful in this function ; including the appellation of any want licenses or certifications. Some considerations are analytic, budget exposure, communication internal or external, calculator, creative think, customer serve, decision-making, diverseness, legitimate think, multi-tasking, negotiation, problem-solving, project management, supervision, teamwork, etc .

Preferred Qualifications

An elaborate list of the Required Qualifications can be used to far determine a person ’ mho ability to be generative and successful in this job. These choose Qualifications are “ dainty to have ” but are not essential to carrying out the daily functions of the job. If included, the Preferred Qualifications can focus on any or all of the following : department of education, know, cognition, skills, and abilities.

bill : For classified jobs, the University does not list favored qualifications .

Working Conditions

Identify the work conditions and physical demands that relate immediately to the all-important job duties and responsibilities to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Describe the type, intensity ( how much ), frequency ( how frequently ), and duration ( how long ) of physical or genial capabilities required. Consider the follow :

  • Environment, such as an office or outdoors.
  • Exposures encountered, such as hazardous materials, loud noise, or extreme heat/cold.
  • Essential physical requirements, such as climbing, standing, stooping, or typing.
  • Physical effort/lifting, such as sedentary – up to 10 pounds; light – up to 20 pounds; medium – up to 50 pounds; heavy – over 50 pounds.
  • Indicate if required to work weekends, nights, or be on-call as a regular part of the job.
  • Travel requirements.
  • Emergency staff designations.

Hints for Writing Job Descriptions

Job descriptions should be prepared in a manner that all components are accurately stated to create a clear sympathy of the character. here are some hints to assist you in the summons :

  • Write in a concise, direct style.
  • Always use the simpler word rather than the complicated one; keeping sentence structure as simple as possible. It will cut verbiage, shorten your description, and enhance understanding.
  • Use descriptive action verbs in the present tense (for example: writes, operates, or performs).
  • Avoid abbreviations and acronyms. Other people reading the position description may not be familiar with them. If abbreviations and acronyms are necessary, define them the first time you use them.
  • Don’t use ambiguous terms. If you use terms such as “assists, handles, and performs,” describe “how” the position assists, handles, or performs. Using the word “by” and then detailing the processes, tasks, or operations performed will usually clarify the ambiguity.
  • Avoid gender-specific language, such as, “He manages,” “She is responsible for.”
  • Focus on essential activities; omit trivial duties and occasional tasks.
  • Avoid references to other employee’s names, instead, refer to the job title or department.
  • Only include assigned duties today. Do not include potential future duties and eliminate any duties no longer required.
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