By Kate Reichert, Compensation Consultant, Trüpp.

When writing a job description, think first about the duties and responsibilities that are most important and take up the majority of time. If there is a task that is done only about 10% of the time (or 4 hours a week), it may be best to leave it off. Only call out 4 to 10 duties and responsibilities – job descriptions don’t need to be more than two pages in length. It’s also recommended to add in a final bullet that states “May perform other duties as needed.” This will capture those more minimal and one-off tasks.

Qualifications are another key input to a job description. You need only document the minimum requirements to be successful in the position (these are not necessarily the same as those for a current incumbent). If the job only requires a high school diploma, then indicate that. Be sure to call out any other training or certifications necessary as well. Many jobs may not require a high degree of education, although it could be preferred. There may be a heavier emphasis on experience, so indicate the minimum needed for someone to be successful in the role.

In addition to qualifications, the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s) should also be documented on the job description. Different jobs will require different kinds of knowledge, like marketing or software development. Skills could be things such as problem solving, leadership, or communication, while abilities could be to analyze data, work under pressure, or manage time well.

Finally, a summary should be added to the beginning of the job description. Write the summary last. The body of the description will inform this section and it only needs to be 3-5 sentences that describe the job at a high level.