Writing a Government Job Description

A guide to writing an effective government job description.

Community Profile: Have you included a description of your community? Does it accurately communicate your community’s priorities and assets? (Review this description, and ask yourself if this is a community you would like to live and work in?)

Benefits: What benefits does your municipality offer? Vacation, retirement and insurance packages are extremely important to job seekers. Remember to include unique perks, such as wellness programs, professional conferences/training to enhance skill sets and/or stay on top of the latest developments in their field.

Location: Where is the position located? Are there residency requirements? Have you included the city and state?

Job Title: Make sure the job title is descriptive and is clear to someone outside your organization. For example: “Urban Redevelopment Planner” will generally get a better response than “Planner II”

Duties: What will the person be doing day to day? How does the position fit in the big picture? Why would someone want this job? Remember that you are selling the job, not just describing it. Paint a compelling picture for the full range of possibilities for the position and how someone will benefit from them long term.

Skills: What skills are essential for doing the job well? What skills would be nice to have? Be specific about what the job requires: you’ll save time for everyone involved.
Experience and Education: What work experience, training, and level of educa- tion are required for the position?

Pay Range: Have you included an accurate pay range for the position? Research shows that up to two-thirds of candidates will not apply to postings that do not provide salary information. Don’t miss out on quality candidates.

Clear Call to Action: What do you want the candidate to do next? Send a resume? Apply on your company’s web site? Put a sense of urgency in the posting to motivate the candidate to act, especially if your organization has a short application window.

Relevant Keywords: Have you included the relevant keywords needed for your online posting? If you don’t understand them, has the hiring manager checked to make sure they are accurate?
Formatting: Is the job description formatted well and easy to read? Keep the text