Key Elements of Job Description: What All Should a Good Job Description Include?

Creating a clear and thorough job description is essential for finding the most qualified and suitable candidates for an open job position. A comprehensive job description will include a detailed sense of the role, duties, responsibilities, and qualifications needed for the position that needs fulfilling. Writing a job description starts with creating a list of various elements of the job and the roles that must be fulfilled.

The following are the key elements of any job description:

  • Overview of Organization
  • Key Roles and Responsibilities
  • Qualifications and Prerequisites
  • Salary and Benefits

Overview of Organization

Job description should include a section where the employer will set the general atmosphere of the organization. This includes the industry, organizational mission, location, and organizational structure. This overview lets the potential job candidate decide whether the company itself is a good fit. It will also set the tone for the rest of the job description, so it is important to be clear and to the point without being too wordy or overwhelming. Job description has this section because it is the first thing that candidate look for, and often will make or break the application process.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

This part of the job description will usually allow the potential employer the opportunity to be quite specific about the job role that a candidate will take on. In contrast to the overview, this section will be more about the details and specifications. An organization will want the potential new employee to be well aware of the position that they are applying for. This section allows the candidate to compare his or her qualification and needs to those of the organization.

Because this section can be quite detailed and wordy, it may work best to have the key roles and responsibility section to be bulleted or numbered, highlighting the most important details. Having too broad of a responsibility section could turn off certain candidates or confuse the role definition.

Qualifications and Prerequisites

This section of the job description allows for the organization to define the experience and educational background one must have to be a viable candidate for the given position. This section is often bulleted with clear definitions of what is sought by the company. The company must decide what skill set and experience they are looking for in an employee. Some organizations prefer candidates with experience in the field instead of education. Others prefer a combination of education, experience, and skills. In any case, the employer must be clear about prerequisites as to not mislead potential candidates and streamline the interview process. This section should help a company reduce wasted time from interviewing under qualified candidates.

If a company is looking for a certain amount of educational experience, it is important to include what degrees or education is required for the job. If skill and experience is more important than education, than it will essential to include what requirements are sought after in the candidate. If two years experience in the given field outweighs a college education, a smart company will include this information in their job description. Overall, the readiness and qualification of a candidate should be the top priority when creating the job description.

Salary and Benefits

Often, job description will include a section to discuss the compensation for the job position. However, certain companies will omit this section so that they can use wages and benefits as a bargaining tool during the interview process. However, these companies that omit this information should be warned that this is an extreme deterrent to many qualified candidates. Many people eager to spread their knowledge and expertise want to know upfront what the salary and benefits are for the job they are applying to. They want to be sure that their time is not being wasted on a position that will not be paying well. It is best to be open with this information. If a company absolutely does not want to disclose an actual number, giving a generous range (for example $30,000 to $40,000 annually) this will attract more people in applying for the position.

Healthcare and other benefits are becoming more and more important in today’s economy. Benefit packages offer a huge appeal to qualified candidates looking for the perfect position. The job description will usually include a section where the company can disclose the opportunity for employees to participate in profit sharing, or other monetary bonuses. Candidates will also be looking for more comprehensive benefits such as healthcare and other insurances.

Using a good job description allows an employer the opportunity to present all of the available information to a broad range of potential employees. The information provided in a job description will usually be the only information that a candidate has about the company, so it is important to be clear, thorough, and detailed-oriented. Without such information, a job seeker may pass up on a lucrative opportunity, and the employer may miss out on an asset to his or her company. The right wording is just as important as the information being presented. Technical jargon can be appropriate for the role description section, however, it must be limited to the position being offered and the responsibilities that are to be filled.


Job description should be written so as to attract the perfect employee to fit the advertized position in the organization. It will streamline the selection process by weeding out those that are not qualified or interested in the position. Giving off a positive attitude as well as a professional demeanor will boost the power of the job description and attract the candidate that is an experienced and skilled team player.

Following a sample job description is an easy and systematic way to create a job listing that will attract interested and qualified individuals that will make a valuable asset to any organization or company.