7 Steps to Writing an Effective Job Description
1. Determine the major functions (The titles/groupings under which you include the duties). Select 4-8
major functions and use only 1-5 words for each function.
2. Determine the percentage of these functions in relation to the total job.
3. For each function, determine the duties, which are actions taken when performing the job satisfactorily.
It is an action that someone else can see, hear or observe. Write no more than 6-8 duties. Answer the
questions, what, how and why. Use simple, non-technical, but specific words.
4. Determine the frequency of each duty (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly).
5. Determine the requirements of the position (skills, knowledge & abilities). Tie them directly to the duties
(actions) to be performed in the job. A knowledge or skill is something you know or can do that helps
you do the duties of your job well. Examples are:
o Public Speaking skill; including planning and preparing material and presenting it effectively
o Typing skills
o Speaking skills to talk with people of various educational and socio-cultural backgrounds
o Skill in negotiation, including listening and persuading
o Clear, concise and precise writing of reports and letters
6. Determine if there are any physical, environmental or special demands. If so, include those on the back
page of the job description form.
o When a job is performed by multiple FTE, incorporate the principle elements into a single
generic job description and avoid specifying minor differences in the way the work might be
o Avoid repeating the organization/unit's name in job description
o Avoid organizationally specific part numbers or form numbers
7. Write the summary statement, providing the brief job overview. Determine the degree of supervision
and include this in the summary if applicable
Summary Statement (General Summary)
A summary statement provides a synopsis of the major purpose of a position and...