How to write job descriptions: Key ingredients and a checklist


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Job descriptions are the cornerstone of communication between managers and their staff. After all, it’s hard for supervisors to measure job effectiveness during performance reviews unless they and the employee both know what they expect.

Also, carefully drafted job descriptions can be useful tools in court. For example, if an employee files an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit, courts will review what the organization has identified as the job’s “essential functions” to see if the charges have merit. Without a written job description, the court may decide for itself which functions are essential.

Checklist: 200 sample job descriptions and employment ads.

Key ingredients

Job descriptions can be as brief as one paragraph or as long as several pages. At a minimum, a job description should include these elements:

Title of position. Titles may seem unimportant, but they carry a great deal of weight in the workplace and in court…

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