resources

How to Write a Job Description: Template, Tips, & Examples

January 24, 2023

Your best candidates are looking at more than one job post. Make your job descriptions rise to the top with these tips and tools.

Blog Post

If a job description is a chore to write, it will be a bore to read.

At their best, job descriptions attract top talent, make a great impression, and convince only qualified candidates to submit their résumés. At worst, a poorly written job description can derail your recruitment efforts.

For a job post to be application-worthy, it needs to first explain the basic components of the role in a way that resonates with right-fit candidates. Then you can apply the five Cs — Clear, Compelling, Culture Forward, Compliant, and Concise — to transform your job description from informational to inspirational.

The Components of a Job Description Template

Most job descriptions follow a formula. While there’s room for creativity, sticking to this framework makes it easy to build customizable templates and, just as important, makes it easy for candidates to scan a job post quickly.

Job Title

Many companies have jumped on the creative title bandwagon. But before you post a position for a “Genius” or “Chief Amazement Officer,” remember that most candidates will search by job title.

Introduction / Company Bio

This section should reflect your Employee Value Proposition, but can be tailored to highlight company values that might be especially relevant to the position. Just be sure to include:

  • What does your company do and why do you do it?
  • How does your mission guide your operations?

Job Summary / Position Overview

Briefly describe what this position does. Three sentences max!

  • What is the goal or primary responsibility of this position?
  • Are there “nice-to-have” qualities you can imply with words like seasoned, problem-solver, passionate, or innovative?

Job Duties / Responsibilities

There’s no magic number for how many tasks, duties, or responsibilities you list in a job description, but consider:

  • What functions have the most business impact?
  • Who does this position interact with (e.g., senior leadership, customers, vendors, employees)?
  • Are there specific tools, knowledge, or skills that candidates might search for, like JavaScript, multilingual, or American Welding Society (AWS) certification, for example?

Should you include “other duties as assigned?"

While this statement protects employers, it can also be a red flag to candidates who are worried about scope creep. Some job descriptions include examples of what those duties might entail. Others use a disclaimer at the end of the description. See the job description examples below.

Requirements / Qualifications

Which requirements you include in a job posting takes careful thought. What you deem “must-have” or even “preferred” can significantly restrict applications to candidates with a narrow set of skills. To encourage a more diverse pool of applicants:

  • Can any skills be learned on the job or through a training program?
  • Could a mentor help a less experienced candidate succeed in the role?

What Else Can You Include?

This is the good stuff. In addition to the benefits your candidates expect to see, highlight the perks that make your organization a special place to work: flexible schedule, career training, gym membership, free lunch on Wednesday, birthday PTO, etc.

Customize Your Job Components

By creating variations of common components like your company bio and benefits packages, you can highlight your most attractive options based on your desired candidates. For example, someone well-established in their career might highly value your 401(k) match, while an early career candidate may be more interested in your wellness program or a sign-on bonus.

The 5 Cs: Tips for Writing a Good Job Description

Your best candidates are looking at more than one job posting. Whether or not they submit an application could depend largely on what you post. More than 50% of job seekers say the quality of a job description is very or extremely influential on their decision to apply.

To elevate your job descriptions above the competition, they must be:

  1. Clear
  2. Compelling
  3. Culture Forward
  4. Compliant
  5. Concise

Some of these attributes are easier to achieve than others (“Concise,” we’re talking to you!) But taking the time to make sure all your job descriptions meet these five criteria could mean the difference between losing or making a great hire.

Tip #1: Draft a Clear Job Description

It’s true that you have to grab a job seeker’s attention quickly. But it’s better to start with clarity than cleverness.

Working with the hiring manager or department leader, make a list of job characteristics:

  • What does this position do?
  • What knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) are needed to perform the job?
  • What will your company offer in return? (compensation, benefits)

Once you’ve compiled this information, organize it into buckets for your job posting.

Position Must Have Nice to Have Must Include Nice to Include

Client Services Manager

  • 3-6 years in client-facing role
  • Supervisory experience
  • College degree
  • Industry knowledge
  • Salary range
  • Remote
  • 401(k), medical, dental
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Gym reimbursement

Distribution Assistant (Part-Time)

  • M-F, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • HS diploma or GED
  • Team-oriented
  • Self-motivated
  • Hourly wage
  • Ability to lift 25 lbs.
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

This is your blueprint to write a clear, easy-to-scan job description. Now, to make it interesting….

Tip #2: Craft a Compelling Opportunity

Although not every job is an adventure, there’s an easy way to make it compelling — think like your candidates. What are they looking for in a career opportunity? Hint: It’s probably not just a paycheck. While most candidates prefer when a job post includes salary information, many rank compensation third behind work-life balance and career advancement.

Here are a few tricks to “perk” up your job descriptions:

  • Think in terms of “what you’ll get to do” and “the strengths you bring.”
  • Use action words to describe tasks and responsibilities.
  • Avoid jargon and cliches — no one truly wants to be a rockstar ninja who thinks outside the box.

Tip #3: Lead with Culture

What does a candidate really want to know? How it feels to be an employee with your organization.

But describing your culture needs to be more than a paragraph at the bottom of the job post. How can you infuse the entire job description with your values?

For example, at Paylocity, we strive to “earn it, every day.” That means “we meet problems head-on” and “put in the work because that’s what separates good from great.” In a job summary for a sales position, this might translate to “solves challenges and accelerates growth.” For a product designer, it could mean someone who is “unflinching in your desire to create the best user experience possible.”

Brighten Their Job Search with Video

You don’t need an expensive sizzle reel to show off your company culture. A 15-second video from the hiring manager can make the job — and your culture — come to life. Adding video to your job postings is a great way to differentiate your company in a competitive labor market.

Tip #4: Stay Compliant

How you write a job description is not regulated by federal legislation, but a growing number of states and cities have pay transparency laws that require you to include compensation information in a job post.

Although not required unless you are a federal contractor, most organizations choose to state they are an equal opportunity employer. You can build on this to describe your company’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). But also look for ways to use inclusive language throughout a job description to prevent unconscious bias.

Tip #5: Keep Job Descriptions Concise

For internal use, a job description can be as long as it needs to be. When you post it to the world, your job description needs to be laser-focused on the talent you want to attract.

Here’s where using recruiting software to create and store templates can save you time and, just as important, ensure your employer brand stays consistent. You can provide approved variations of your components for hiring managers and recruiters to choose from. That way, you control the word count.

And before you add a laundry list of responsibilities and qualifications, remember: Being concise not only makes your job descriptions more readable, it can also encourage a more diverse pool of applicants.

Job Description Examples

The following are fictional job descriptions — not actual job openings. But we’d love you to check out Paylocity’s careers page to see our current opportunities!

Account Executive Job Description

Account Executive

About Us

At XYZ Company, we bring our passion and purpose to work every day. With uniquely designed technology solutions, we’ve changed how work gets done. Come grow with us as we continue to transform the future of business technology!

About You

As the Account Executive, you identify and call on potential clients to differentiate our product in the market. Concentrating in assigned territories, you generate leads through prospecting, sales database management, and networking. You are a self-starter ready to jump in and achieve quarterly sales quotas.

What You’ll Get to Do

  • Explore and understand the most pressing needs of our clients
  • Represent the best XYZ has to offer, including a 97% customer satisfaction rate
  • Develop and maintain excellent relationships with referral sources
  • Look for creative ways to stretch sales targets in your territory
  • Assist the Director of Sales by providing analysis and reporting

What You Bring

  • Experience in B2B technology sales or another high-profile client-facing role
  • Persuasive energy and strong presentation skills
  • Persistence, with a strong desire to succeed
  • An irreproachable work ethic

What We Offer

  • Competitive salary and incentives to exceed sales goals
  • 401(k) match
  • Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision plan
  • Flexible schedule and WFH options
  • Ample paid PTO

XYZ Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

We are committed to the full inclusion of all individuals. We comply with federal and state disability laws and make reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. To request reasonable accommodation in the job application or interview process, please contact [email].

Interested? Apply Here

Want to know what it’s like to work at XYZ? Meet some of our employees and see what makes us tick. [link to careers or culture webpage]

Service Technician Job Description

Service Technician

The ABC Way

People are the heart of everything we do at ABC Company. That includes our employees, our communities, and especially our customers — who rely on our products every day to make their homes efficient, safe, and comfortable.

Your Mission

As a service technician, you conduct in-home repairs while providing an amazing customer experience. You’ll start with a paid, two-week training program to learn our service approach and the tools of the job, followed by two weeks of ride-along mentorship with one of our experienced technicians.

What You’ll Do

  • Conduct diagnosis and repairs in our customers’ homes
  • Provide prompt and courteous service
  • Maintain accurate records of service calls and activities
  • Follow all safety procedures and attend company safety seminars
  • Perform other related duties as assigned

What You Bring

  • High School diploma or GED, Associate degree preferred
  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
  • 1+ years of experience in electrical or mechanical repair
  • Ability to perform essential functions of the position with or without accommodation, including ability to use power hand tools and lift a minimum of 70 lbs.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Willingness to submit to a background check, physical, and drug screen

Benefits & Perks

We’ve got you covered in more ways than one! As a full-time employee, you receive medical, dental, vision, and life insurance starting day one. You’ll also get:

  • Service van, uniforms, tablet, and smartphone
  • Paid vacation and holidays
  • Tuition reimbursement

Ready to Join Our Team?

Apply Now

ABC Company provides equal employment opportunities and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Payroll Analyst Job Description

Payroll Analyst

Welcome to QRS

When you feel like you belong, work is no longer work — it’s personal. At QRS, we believe better employees lead to better companies. Workplaces and cultures that care will build the future, and that’s what we’re all about.

To accomplish our mission, we give our employees everything they need to succeed, including excellent benefits like medical, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance. Our financial and wellness benefits are designed to support you and your family. And if it’s career development opportunities you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place!

What Does a Payroll Analyst Do at QRS?

We’re glad you asked. Using strong accounting, analytic, and troubleshooting skills, our Payroll Analyst’s top responsibility is to ensure payroll is balanced and all variances reconciled.

You would also:

  • Minimize liability tax exposure by expertly identifying issues
  • Own year-end payroll tax processing tasks
  • Collaborate across teams with a focus on increasing operational effectiveness
  • Stay up to date with changes in federal, state, and local tax laws
  • Act as subject matter expert for critical situations, special projects, or escalations as assigned

Requirements

  • 3+ years of payroll tax experience and proficiency with payroll tax software
  • Demonstrated organizational and time management skills
  • Knowledgeable in payroll tax law and regulations
  • Any of the following are a plus: Bachelor’s degree in Finance or Accounting, payroll service bureau experience, and/or CPP certification

This role can be performed from any office in the US. The pay range for this position is $XXX – XXX/year; however, base pay offered may vary depending on job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. This position is eligible for an annual bonus based on individual performance in addition to a full range of benefits.

What’s It Like to Work at QRS?

We want to be a place where every employee has a voice and feels truly welcome, appreciated, free to be themselves, and empowered and enabled to do their best work. Our differences make us unique, and we actively support these differences and work to create communities of respect throughout our company. [Link to careers or culture webpage.]

QRS is an equal opportunity employer.

The statements above are intended to describe the general nature of the work and should not be construed as an exhaustive list of responsibilities, duties, and skills required to perform the role successfully.

Write More Effective Job Descriptions with Recruiting Software

There are many advantages to using recruiting and hiring software. Saving time with streamlined processes is often the number one benefit, and that certainly holds true for creating and managing job descriptions.

Automating the recruitment process with templates gives you the flexibility to customize job postings and applications to attract top candidates. Importantly, it also helps you keep your employer brand front and center.

Keep Your Workforce Ready 

Finding the right talent for your team can be challenging in today’s market. But with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be a strain on your internal resources as well. Our recruiting platform streamlines the process, bringing you an intuitive way to search for and engage with top candidates. With communication methods like texting and video, and data that helps you track progress, attracting and winning has never been easier.

Recruiting
Request a Demo

Sign Up for Our Newsletter!

Get the latest resources delivered right to your inbox.

Form Introduction, email and email consent

Subscribe to Paylocity Email Updates Now!


By submitting this form, you agree to the processing of your personal information as described in our Privacy Policy.
Hidden fields