Drafting of job specifications

A job specification will often be the first introduction a candidate will have to your organisation. It is therefore crucial that it is professional and portrays the right image.

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 to encourage them to apply. It is the candidate's first introduction to the company and the role.

Job specifications should clearly define the role. To write an effective job specification the company must first be clear on the role and what the requirements of the role are.

Keep the font plain and 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. The job specification should be professional and corporate.

Simple bullet point format is more 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 well structured job specification will include the following

- Introduction to the company
- Company logo/branding
- 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 in the role.
- Essential educational and skills and competency requirements
- Desired educational and skills and competency requirements
- Instructions as to how to apply for the position

The content is crucial. It has to be well structured and targeted. It should be clear and concise and not be too lengthy. Concentrate on the pertinent facts and steer away from using jargon and company specific terms that will not be understood. This will put prospective candidates off applying.

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 vital that the organisation 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.