Guide: Create a job description

Introduction

The job description is often the first thing a potential hire will see from an organization. The stakes are high. How do you leave the candidate wanting more, but feeling informed? How do you sell your company without seeming like you’re overselling?

Each word in your job posting sends a signal about your company. The right turn of phrase can sing your praise: what your culture is like, what your goals are, and why you’re a great place to work.

Research also suggests that job descriptions often fail to describe the scope and relative importance of different responsibilities of the role .

Guide: Create a job description

Define the role and qualifications

Google focuses job description content on four categories: area, role, responsibilities, and job qualifications. Google's internal and external user studies found that it's best to start high-level (what’s this company all about?) and then get down to the details (what does a person in this role do every day?). For example, if Google were hiring for a software engineer position the job description would address the following:

  1. Area: ​Highlight the mission and purpose of the organization. (“Google’s mission is to...”).
  2. Role: ​Write a few sentences that directly address the candidate (“You will be at the heart of Google’s engineering process building software that empowers engineering teams to develop and deliver high-quality mobile apps and services. ...”) and share the daily functions of the position.
  3. Responsibilities: Outline the specific deliverables associated with the job in question (“Design and build advanced, automated testing frameworks.…”).
  4. Job qualifications: Include education, experience, and skills required to perform the job. Be specific. (“C++/Java a must…”).

Once the hiring team has an outline in place, the team talks to the hiring manager, teammates, and anyone else who can help explain the role, its expectations, and how it connects to the company overall. There are two other key ingredients to a job posting: the minimum and preferred qualifications. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Minimum qualifications are basic, certifiable, typically non-negotiable qualifications that a candidate must have to be considered for the role (e.g. education degrees, professional accreditations).
  • Preferred qualifications describe the preferred, non-mandatory skills and experience of an ideal candidate. These often are more qualitative than the minimum qualifications (e.g., demonstrated proficiency in persuasive communications, teaching background preferred).

build Tool: Try the job description checklist

When writing a job description, Google considers what the job seeker needs to know from the company and what the company wants to know about the job seeker. The hiring team uses a checklist like this one to keep the structure, content, and tone of our job postings clear and consistent.

Make it your own: customize the tool below.

Google job description checklist

Use this checklist when writing job descriptions.

Guide: Create a job description

Review before you post

Before posting a job description for the world to see, it’s good to have the hiring manager and someone who actually does the job read the job description for accuracy and clarity. Google gives reviewers these quick tips:

In addition to the wording, Google strives for structural clarity. Internal research shows that candidates skip over large text blocks and go straight to the requirement bullets. So, the hiring team often formats postings (e.g., incorporating headings, bullets, shorter paragraphs) to make them easier for candidates to read.