Describe the Job

Job Description:
Before you start the recruitment process you need a clear job description. This will help you to write your job ad and be objective in assessing job applicants. The following categories are commonly used in preparing the job description

Main Responsibilities (why this job exists):
Describe in one or two sentences what this position is expected to accomplish for the company.

List the work duties of this position in order of importance. Use action words to describe the task and include descriptions of how the tasks are to be done, if that is important. What are the key actions and behavioral requirements of the job? For instance is what kind of communication will be needed in this job? For example, telephone skills, report preparation, supervising other people, dealing with customers, etc. If the position requires "attention to detail", be sure to specify that type of detail work that is involved.

Physical Demands:
Describe any working conditions that may affect some individuals' ability to do the work. Some examples might be lifting, shift work, sight requirements, etc.

Identify the skills and knowledge required to do the job. Does the job require skill in the use of any particular machines, technical work, statistics, etc? Can you provide any on-the-job training in any of those areas, if needed?

Work Experience:
What type of experience in related job functions is needed? How much experience is needed?

Identify the education requirement. If possible, consider a combination of experience and training as equivalent to education needs - this will widen your pool of candidates. Remember to include any certifications that are required for the position.

Special Factors:
Include any special requirements, such as second language fluency, willingness to work overtime on short notice, willingness to travel, willingness to work weekends, etc.

Core Competencies:
Now that you have prepared a written understanding of the job itself, you can decide on the skills and core competencies that you need in your new employee.

Go to page 2 for information on core competencies

Occupational profiles which include information on all of the above and more for over 300 jobs in Nova Scotia are available on This information will help you write your job description.

Click here for a Job Description Template as a starting point for writing the job description.

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