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The essential parts of successful job descriptions

I’m sure that all of us, have come across job listings in newspapers or online portals. Sometimes the description is clear, stating all the important characteristics. But unfortunately, most of the times, questions and queries arise while reading an offered job. What are the exact duties and responsibilities? What is the salary or extra benefits? What skills and experiences are required? What about flexibility?

Therefore, in order for companies to avoid getting endless emails of CVs that don’t match the job offered on the one hand, and, on the other hand, in order for the people who are seeking for a job, not to waste their time sending unresponsive emails, productive job descriptions are critical documents.

In this blog, I thought it interesting to provide the essential parts a job description should include, to engage the best candidates, but also to help business owners make the best choice and maintain it. Let’s have a look!

  1. Job Title & Description

In the very first section, describe the main function or role of the job. It is important to avoid broad and very specific job titles, instead create a title that accurately reflects the work the employee will perform under it.

Then, when writing the job description, use a style that communicates your company’s character and values as well as concise points reflecting the important characteristics needed from the candidates. This is the most effective way for qualified candidates to find your job position.

  1. Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

In this section you should list, in bullet points, the specific duties and responsibilities associated with the position that are required on a daily basis. The list will vary in length, but as a general advice, keep it as short as possible. The points should begin with action words such as perform, responsible for, deliver, develop, etc.

In addition, the description of duties should be outcome based, containing an action, an object and a purpose. For example, ‘Resolves user problems by answering questions and requests’.

You can also refer to the amount of time expected to be devoted to each task, using percentages (i.e. filing 20%, meeting with clients 40% etc.), which will make the job offered more understandable for the potential candidates.

  1. Education & Work Experience Requirements

This part is the most important one, since you have to elaborate on the qualifications needed for the job. Firstly, list all qualifications that are mandatory, along with those that are preferred.

The description should include the education and/ or work experience required. You have to be very careful here, since it is optimal to widen the candidate pool, and not keeping it too limited. To give an example, if the person doesn’t need a degree, don’t demand one. In fact, requiring a degree when it’s not needed is not the way to go, since you automatically exclude people that have low college attendance. And believe me, you will never know if the one, was in that group of people!


  1. Skills & Behavioral Competencies required

Skills and competencies should be listed separately from each other, as they are two quite separate things.

Skills are activities the candidate can perform based on what they have learned in the past, or from qualifications they have obtained. Some examples of skills, they are the abilities to work on the computer, speak different languages or give effective presentations. All of these are skills that can be learned through study and practice.

Behavioral competencies are the attributes you expect the candidate to display in the role and are based on his/her personality and character. These are considered inherited characteristics. Examples of competencies are communication, leadership, teamwork, flexibility, initiative and problem solving skills.

As I see it, through my experience of working with different kinds of people in different positions, both skills and competencies are required in certain positions. Knowledge is crucial but the way a person actually conducts themselves, is by far the most important.


  1. Type of Employment & Salary

State the type of employment, whether is full time or part-time.

In addition, it is advised to include the range of salary, which will be decided later upon the qualifications and skills the candidate has, but gives them an additional incentive to come work for your company. Include any extra benefits, such as 13th salary and medical insurance etc.


My last general advice is to be Specific! While being concise is much appreciated, it’s also important to be as specific and transparent as possible in your job description. It gives the reader a sense of the priorities involved. It not only provides a clear picture of the position for potential candidates, but it is also a useful tool for measuring their performance.

Therefore, the more accurate you can make a job description in the first place, the more useful it will become in the future.

If you need assistance in preparing the perfect job description and conduct your interviews to select the best fitted candidate, feel free to contact us!


Photo Credit: roberthalf.com

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