Tips on writing a job specification

When drafting a job specification, it is important firstly to recognise the purpose of this document:

  • Inform the prospective employee about the position. It should also inform them of the level of education, work experience and skills required for the role.
  • Interest suitable candidates in the role and organisation to encourage them to apply. It is the candidate’s first introduction to the company and the role so it needs to reflect a positive image of your employer brand.

Job specifications should clearly define the role. To write an effective job specification the organisation must firstly be clear on the role and what the key requirements are. 


Keep the font plain, simple and easy to read. Arial or New Time Roman in size 9-12 is recommended. Too many fonts can make the job specification appear confusing. 


Simple bullet point format is most effective and is easier on the eye. Ensure that each section has a clear and concise heading. Differentiate your headings by bolding them.


A well written and structured job specification will include the following

  • Company logo/branding
  • Introduction to the company including why it is that candidates would be interested in working there. Consider what you can offer as an employer and why would the candidates want to work with your organisation over another.
  • Job title
  • The reporting structure of the role
  • The location
  • A summary of the role i.e. the goals and objectives of the position
  • Detailed list of the main responsibilities
  • Required education level
  • Required skills, experience and competencies
  • Instructions as to how to apply for the position

 A professional job specification should be clear, concise and not too lengthy. Concentrate on the pertinent facts and steer away from using jargon and company specific terms that will not be understood.

Sentences should generally begin with action verbs to give a concise and consistent style.

Spell out abbreviations or acronyms the first time you use them.

A well-structured job specification should also explain how the role relates to other roles and areas in the business. This will give the prospective candidate a good sense of the role.

Focus only on critical duties and responsibilities that the incumbent will do on a regular basis. The job specification should not be all inclusive and must leave room for further discussions during the interview process.


When drafting a job specification, it is important that the business is clear in relation to what the requirements and competencies are for the role. The job specification should be written with a view to attracting relevant applicants. You need to think about your target audience and tap into their mindset. You can then set about writing a job specification that will attract relevant applicants.

For further support and advice in relation to drafting a job specification that will attract high quality and relevant candidates contact:

Careers Advisory
01 637 7331

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