Job Description Writing Tips


For both the incumbent and line manager

  • It should be an accurate, realistic and current picture of what is done or what is expected of the job incumbent.
  • It outlines the job’s location in the organisation, job purpose and content, the relationships involved, authority, controls and checks.
  • The incumbent and the supervisor must understand it equally well and must interpret it in the same way.
  • It must be able to be used as a selection tool and an interview guide when recruiting new staff.
  • It must be a guide for the incumbent and supervisor in establishing job objectives, standards of performance and assessing performance.
  • The job tasks must be listed in order of importance or in a logical sequence. Each task must state WHAT and HOW with enough detail to explain the HOW of the job i.e. IT MUST BE MEASURABLE.

Do’s and Don’ts of Job Description Writing



Do ensure that the questions "what", "why", "how" and "how often" are answered for each task

Don’t use individual’s names in preference to job titles.

Do ensure that there is detail for each factor.

Don’t include duties and responsibilities of others where these don’t directly affect the job being described.

Do use examples in order to highlight or explain tasks, especially where a task is described in general terms.

Don’t include incidental activities which occur once only and are never likely to be repeated.

Do use short and concise sentences.

Don’t lose the essence of a task by listing irrelevant data.

Do begin all sentences with an action verb, e.g. assists, advises, controls, approves, authorises

Don’t describe attitudes and opinions.

Do use precise numbers i.e. rather than " few" use twice a week.

Don’t begin sentences with "if" and "when".

Do number the tasks

Don’t pad the job description.

Located in: All Policies