Job Descriptions - How to write, Templates, and Examples |

Have you ever responded to a job advertisement simply because of the way that it was written - and you thought that they wrote it specifically for you? Many of us have felt this way, and when it comes to writing the perfect job description there is an art to it. 

It has to be general enough that it can attract a good number of people, specific so that it can attract the right kind of people and then, it needs to have some sort of magic formula that can bring it all to life so that you attract the perfect candidates to apply.

That is the art of a perfectly executed job description. You want to not only convey what the role is - and do it in an effective and exciting way - but you want to attract the right people to the role as well. 

In this guide we are going to discuss the importance of a job description, how you should write a job description and some examples of job descriptions in a template format that you can use for your own organisation. 

Why job descriptions are important

A job description summarises the essential responsibilities, activities, qualifications and skills for a role. It is a document which describes the type of work performed. It should include details such as the company mission, culture and benefits that it provides to employees.

A well written job description should capture the attention of a potential employee and make them act quick enough to apply for a position. 

The purpose of a job description is to document the essential job functions and the skills, knowledge, abilities and other characteristics needed for satisfactory performance of the job.

Equally, a job description is incredibly important as it is the start of the potential relationship any new employee has with the company from the very beginning. There are other associated benefits which include:

Attract the best candidates

The purpose of a job description is to ensure the job will meet the needs of the organisation and to recruit the right people to fulfil the defined role.

Importantly, you want to attract the kind of people who will excel in the position, and avoid hiring people who will be less likely to find employees who don’t fit the criteria to apply. You can save valuable time by limiting the number of applicants to the defined job role, and equally, improve the quality of the applications that come in. 

Fulfil business needs

The essential element of recruitment is that it is done in order to fulfil a business need. Whatever the objectives or goals of the business there is, there is a need to have the right people in place to succeed. This is done through the recruitment process of finding those people who can get the job done.

Without the right skills, capabilities and attitudes in place, the business objectives cannot be met.

Identify training needs

A well composed, comprehensive job description helps identify skills shortfalls in candidates (and staff) that need to be addressed with training.

Importantly, you can use the recruitment process to figure out the depth of training required in new employees or even in current ones by simply analysing a thorough job description. By using a thorough description, it is a lot easier to know where a new employee falls short in terms of knowledge, skills, or qualifications and where they might require additional training.

Secondly, taking those shortfalls into consideration, you can use something like a skills gap analysis to guide a customised training plan that will help get the employee into an actionable position faster.

Drive staff retention and satisfaction

By recruiting the right people, you are giving your organisation the best chance to succeed, however there is another benefit. You are also increasing your potential to retain staff and increase satisfaction at the same time. Job descriptions effectively acknowledge the work and contributions made by those employed in the described roles.

Good, accurate and complete job descriptions can act as staff motivators. It sets out what the role is, there is no ambiguity and whilst the role can have moments of fluidity, it doesn’t mean that those moments outweigh the full job description itself. 

However, an incomplete or inaccurate job description can appear that an employee's efforts are not valued which can lead to dissatisfaction and lowering staff retention.

Assess performance

Detailed job descriptions provide a useful tool or framework upon which to gauge performance. From the competencies, duties, tasks, to the responsibilities that are outlined in the description, these will act as expectation guidelines.

In many roles, once the probationary period ends, or when it is time for employee reviews, a job description is an excellent tool to measure performance shortcomings or areas where the employee exceeds expectations.

How to write a job description

We have spoken about that magical ingredient when it comes to writing a great job description but that is not the most important aspect of writing a good job description. The most important element is about providing the balance between giving enough detail and being concise and readable.

As previously mentioned, one of the best things that you can put into a job description is the organisation mission, vision, and values, especially when listing outside of the organisation’s website. If you want to inspire people to your organisation’s mission, then you need to show them what that mission is; speak of the culture, get them to understand that there is something that is greater beyond the words on the page - that’s where the magic lies.

Finally, you want to think about readability. Using bullet points, spacing and short paragraphs to make it work best.

It must be said that there are some very basic things that need to be included on a job description and that is, they tend to include these six key elements:

  1. Job title and summary
  2. Job purpose and objectives
  3. Primary duties
  4. Scope and limits of authority
  5. Management expectations
  6. Required qualifications

There are other aspects of a job description which are preferable if included, such as working conditions, physical requirements, working environment etc.

We are now going to take a closer look at the main six elements of the job description.

Job title and summary

  • Clearly define the job title

Make sure that you have a targeted job title rather than a generic one, be precise and use key phrasings for that role/industry (i.e. Digital Marketing Account Manager not Account Manager).

  • Note the department within which the role exists

The summary should be attention grabbing. It should provide an overview of the company and expectations for the position.

  • Note the reporting hierarchy - who does this role report to

You can use phrases such as “Reporting to the Operations Director, you will be responsible for…” 

  • Note the names of managers

It is often a good idea to provide the names of the managers so that candidates can do searches on platforms like LinkedIn to get an understanding of their seniority and experience.

  • Note the date on which this job description was created / updated - and by whom

You want to attract the right talent, but also in a timely manner. You don’t want people applying for jobs three months after it was published. 

Job purpose and objectives

  • Describe what this job does

You want to be specific at this stage with plenty of details but remain concise. Remember, you don’t want to overload the applicant with information.

  • Note the objectives associated with the role

What are the expectations of the employee and how can this help in the selection process?

  • Ensure the description provides enough for prospective candidates to understand the role

Remove any possibility for ambiguity and develop the job description to give the candidate enough information about the role and if they want to apply for it. 

  • And for those who are already in the job - this description should accurately reflect what they do

If you are recruiting for other team members, show the description to those already working in the department.

Primary duties

  • List the duties in priority order

If you’re looking for an engineer, be sure to specify what it is that is typically needed. Furthermore, be sure to emphasise the duties required for the role as well. I.e. If you are hiring for a wedding planner it may require social media skills - be sure to highlight this.

  • Aim to break down duties based on time spent on each

Think about the day-to-day responsibilities of the role and then break these down into how much time would be required for each part in a day or a week. I.e. event planners may need to speak to customers for 30% of the time, third parties 60% of the time but also fulfil a social media role 10% of the time.

  • Note any tools, equipment or software used to fulfil primary duties

Explain what is needed in terms of knowledge of software. I.e. “Full Adobe creative suite” is something you may see advertised for designers - they know that this covers five specific packages.

Scope and limits of authority

  • Describe the level of authority associated with the role and any supervisory / oversight responsibilities

If you are recruiting for senior positions, you want to be able to show the level of experience required but also, the scope of oversight within the organisation. Do you have hiring/firing powers? Do you have independence on budget in your department?

  • Note any areas of overlap with other roles - clarifying who has responsibility

It’s not uncommon to have careers where responsibilities overlap with other managers or individuals in the department. Where possible, clarify who gets the final decision in some of the disputes or areas of responsibility in the organisation.

Management expectations

  • Describe important management expectations

What does management expect from candidates? There are lots of details that can be used for getting that message across. For example; 
“We expect projects to be completed on time and on budget”.

  • These messages should include attendance, possibly overtime expectations, workplace behaviours etc.

Required qualifications / skills

  • List and describe the specific qualifications, skills and expected experience needed to fill the role

Is it that a university degree is required? Does the candidate need 5+ years of experience? What is expected of the role in relation to a specific skillset, i.e - design package knowledge and function is required. 

  • Be aware of both prospective new recruits and those already in the role

When it comes to making these roles suitable, think about the people already doing the job. Do they have these skill sets?

Other details

  • Some job descriptions will state things like salary, number of hours worked per week and holiday allocation. 
  • Think about things like pensions, healthcare - the perks which could make the candidate take further note. 
  • You may have summer programs such as “summer hours” which give Friday afternoon’s for free.

This set of information is really designed to inform more about the company culture over other aspects of the business.

How to create a good job description template

The previously listed key job description elements can be used to create useful job description templates. A template may offer these fields which can be used in the following way:

  • Job title
  • Job summary
  • Job purpose and objectives
  • Primary duties
  • Job scope and limits of authority
  • Management expectations
  • Required qualifications
  • Required skill
  • Organisation’s mission statement and values
  • Compensation
  • Salary and remuneration.

If you wish to develop your template further, then you can consult websites such as Indeed which will provide freely available job description templates.

Job description examples

Chief Information Officer job description

Job title

Chief Information Officer

Job summary

A Chief Information Officer (CIO), or Chief Technology Officer, is responsible for managing the information technology and computer systems that a business uses to fulfil its goals. Their duties include evaluating current IT processes, directing the management team on the best processes and researching and recommending computer system upgrades.

Job purpose and objectives

  • Manage all aspects of the information technology and computer systems in use
  • Ensure systems remain continuously operational
  • Identify ongoing staff and skills requirements
  • Establish and maintain cybersecurity best practices

Primary duties

Chief Information Officers work full time. Their day-to-day duties and responsibilities vary depending on the industry in which their company operates and the individual needs of the company, but can include:

  • Establishing partnerships with hardware and software providers
  • Building a network of IT Specialists that can offer support and advice on specific issues
  • Organising and overseeing IT projects and upgrades
  • Providing support and guidance for IT projects through an organisation
  • Maintaining a working knowledge of the latest technological advances and challenges
  • Analysing the costs and relative merits of new systems or upgrades to existing systems
  • Identifying areas where technology could improve efficiency and profitability
  • Designing new systems to meet customer or client needs

Job scope and limits of authority

  • The Chief Information Officer reports directly to the CEO
  • The CIO has responsibility for all aspects of the IT system infrastructure including all hardware, software and services
  • The CIO has responsibility for all IT personnel including their training and development

Management expectations

  • The primary management expectation is that the business IT systems continue to provide optimal service to the business
  • Cyber security precautions are of the highest possible standard
  • Data is robustly secured and complies with required standards

Required qualifications and skills

  • Generally a bachelor’s degree level qualification is required for this role
  • Proven track record in similar roles
  • Excellent knowledge of information technology infrastructure and systems
  • Ability to design and implement various IT systems
  • Data analysis skills
  • Problem-solving and creativity in designing workable solutions
  • Strong leadership and management skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strategic planning and business growth skills
  • Project management skills

Organisation’s mission statement and values


  • Salary band
  • Bonuses
  • Benefits (e.g. pension scheme, healthcare etc.)

Senior Social Media Manager job description

Job title

Senior Social Media Manager

Job summary

We are looking for a Senior Social Media Manager to join an established team and take the reins with creative content, engaging copy, and innovative social media strategy. Ideally you will have come from a student focused marketing background and have experience of TikTok, Insta, and Snapchat as well as LinkedIn for the B2B aspect of the role.

Job purpose and objectives

  • Create a robust social media and influencer marketing strategy that will grow and engage new and old target audiences
  • Day-to-day management of all social channels including TikTok, Insta, Snapchat, FB, Twitter and Linkedin
  • Ensure all content is on brand and adheres to the TOV and wider marketing strategy
  • Collaborate with B2C and B2B marketing teams to coordinate social content and influencer campaigns
  • Work with Content Manager to ideate and brief photographers, videographers, graphic designers, and copywriters
  • Use social listening and analytics tools to report on posts and campaigns
  • Use data to ensure KPI's are met and inform future decision making
  • Explore new channels and launch as you see necessary

Primary duties

The senior social media manager works full time. Their day-to-day duties and responsibilities vary from content strategy to creation and overseeing the team in coordinating content across channels and the wider marketing strategy of the business. 

  • Establishing partnerships influencers, creators and content managers
  • Building a team of social media professionals who can drive forward the social media objectives of the organisation
  • Organising and overseeing content production, platform strategy and a wider digital presence
  • Providing support and guidance to junior staff and producers to help develop social media strategy
  • Maintaining a working knowledge of the latest social platforms and legal challenges in content creation
  • Managing social budgets for the creation of content as well as the social platform tools required to execute the job effectively
  • Identifying new technologies and strategies and training staff in these areas

Job scope and limits of authority

  • The Senior Social Media Managers (SSMM) reports directly to the Marketing Director
  • The SSMM has responsibility for the strategy being implemented
  • The SSMM has responsibility for all social media personnel including their training and development

Management expectations

  • The primary management expectation is that the social media communications are professional and reflect the direction of the business communications
  • The quality of the work is to the highest standard and attracts influencers to work with the organisation
  • Social media content reflects a modern approach to communication from the organisation to customers
  • Social media strategy is developed to help the organisation better communicate to its audience

Required qualifications and skills

  • Generally a bachelor’s degree level qualification is required for this role
  • 3+ years in Social Media Management
  • Ideally experience with a student audience
  • Some B2B experience beneficial
  • Strong experience with building influencer marketing programs and campaigns
  • Proven track record of growing and retaining a community
  • Analytical with ability to use data to identify trends and growth opportunities
  • Genuine passion for social media
  • Experience working within a high growth, start-up environment

Organisation’s mission statement and values


  • Salary band
  • Bonuses
  • Benefits (e.g. pension scheme, healthcare etc.)


A job description summarises the essential responsibilities, activities, qualifications and skills for a role. A job description is incredibly important as it is the start of the potential relationship any new employee has with the company from the very beginning.

From being able to attract the best candidates to retaining and motivating staff, a job description is a critical part of the recruitment process and the assessment of candidates and skills within the organisation.

While job descriptions are critical, they are only half the picture. The Thomas talent assessment platform allows you to see beyond the CV, identify the aptitude as well as personality and behavioural traits that would best suit the role, and incorporate them seamlessly into your job profiling.

If you would like to find out more, please speak to one of our team.