job description

The better you understand how a typical job description is built, the easier it will be to assess if you’re interested and/or qualified for the position. To help, we’re giving examples of each section of a job description and then tips on how to read them. Of course, some companies are brief in their description, and others are extremely thorough. So while the details of a job description will vary, the purpose of them remains the same. Let’s dive in!

1. Job Title

The job title is fairly straightforward but definitely worth noting. If the job description doesn’t list the salary, you can use the job title to research a potential salary for the job. Pair the job title and the location when researching to get a rough estimate of how much the job would pay. You can also do some research on the title to see if it includes any upward movement.

Example:
Blog Writer

2. Job Location

The location is also pretty straightforward, but it’s one of the first things you should check. Knowing the location will help determine if you’d be willing to make the commute/relocate. If the location does require relocating, you can research the area and see if it would be a place you would want to live.

Example:
Location: Albany, NY

3. Description

Most job descriptions have an introductory paragraph that indicates the title, and a basic one or two sentence description of the role’s purpose. If there are any other details that are included, they’ll also be listed here. For example, full-time, permanent position, salary, bonus etc. This sums up the duties of a job so at a quick glance you can understand what the position will entail.

Example:
We are currently hiring a new Blog Writer who will be responsible for researching, writing, and publishing weekly blogs in addition to other duties as needed. This is a full time, permanent position.

4. Job Responsibilities

The responsibilities are the best way to figure out what your day to day tasks will look if you took this position. Are these tasks something you would be interested in? If not, you can continue on with your search. You may also want to keep your eye out for the term “other duties as needed”. This phrase can include tasks that you’re not interested in. So if you see that used at all, you may want to ask details in an interview.

Example:
Responsibilities Include:

  • Research to determine new and interesting topics for relevant audiences.
  • Write, edit, and proofread 3 blogs a week.
  • Publish a blog across social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.
  • Ensure the blog stays up to date.
  • Optimize all new articles and blogs for search engines.
  • Curate licensed photos to be included in each blog.

5. Job Qualifications

This is where the employer indicates the credentials and experience they are looking for in the ideal candidate. While it’s easy to get intimidated by these qualifications, it is important to remember they represent “ideal”. In truth, they may wind up hiring someone with a different background, less experience etc. So even if you don’t have everything listed, you should still apply! If you want to quickly see if you are qualified for the job, check out this section first!

Example:
Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, English, or Marketing.
  • 2+ years of experience working as a blogger.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Must be proficient in site building tools, as well as social media platforms.
  • Hootsuite experience is a plus.

If you truly want to understand a job description, do some research into the company as well. This will help balance your perspective of the opportunity with the more formal HR perspective of the job.