Job Descriptions: What To Look for to Understand Job Expectations

Young person standing in front of a whiteboard trying to understand multiple data points.

A job description is a written document that outlines the responsibilities, duties, qualifications, and requirements of a particular job. It is a key tool for both employers and employees as it provides clarity on the expectations and requirements of a particular role. A job description is typically used in the hiring process to help identify qualified candidates, but it is also used as a reference point for employees throughout their employment.

A typical job description includes several key components:

Job Title: The job title is the name of the position and should accurately reflect the duties and responsibilities of the job.

Example: Software Engineer

Job Summary: The job summary is a brief overview of the role, including its purpose and key responsibilities.

Example: The Software Engineer is responsible for designing and developing software applications that meet the needs of our customers. This includes collaborating with other engineers and stakeholders to ensure that the software is delivered on time and meets quality standards.

Responsibilities and Duties: This section outlines the specific tasks and responsibilities of the job. It should be clear, concise, and detailed to ensure that the employee understands what is expected of them.


Design and develop software applications

Collaborate with stakeholders to gather requirements and understand customer needs

Write clean, maintainable, and efficient code

Troubleshoot and debug software issues

Test and deploy software applications

Continuously improve software through feedback and iteration

Qualifications and Requirements: This section outlines the skills, education, and experience required for the job.


Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or related field

3+ years of experience in software development

Proficient in programming languages such as Java or Python

Experience with database systems such as SQL or Oracle

Strong analytical and problem-solving skills

Working Conditions: This section outlines the working conditions of the job, including physical demands, work environment, and schedule.


Must be able to sit for extended periods of time

Work in an office environment

Full-time position with occasional overtime and weekend work

Overall, a job description provides a clear and comprehensive picture of the job and its requirements. It is an essential tool for both employers and employees as it ensures that everyone is on the same page about what is expected of the employee and what they can expect from the job.


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