A job description is more than just a list of duties; it’s the start of a successful recruiting process. Crafting a robust description upfront will save you time and effort later in the hiring process. 

Below are some steps for building a strong job description.

Writing Your Job Description

Step 1: Think Through the Role

Consider why you’re hiring for this role now and how it fits into your company’s bigger picture. Understand the dynamics of your company, team, and culture and how a successful hire would impact those areas. It’s easy to think of the role in abstract terms, like “Head of Marketing,” but consider the specific gaps in growth today, what your team currently looks like, and how this marketing hire will make a difference.

Do this for every role, even if it’s a position you frequently hire for, like an engineer or sales rep. It’s important to consider why you’re hiring right now. This need evolves over time—your first sales rep will have a different role and skill set than your fifth, and team dynamics will also change. Understanding the specific reasons for this hire will help you define the role more clearly and ensure you attract the right candidates. It also allows you to tailor the job description to highlight the unique challenges and opportunities of this particular stage of your company’s growth.

Step 2: Write a First Draft

Most job descriptions start with a summary, and the responsibilities and requirements are outlined below.


This is your chance to paint a picture of the role, team, and culture. 

Describe what life in this role will be like, and make it exciting. Include details like who they’ll work with, how this role impacts the company’s growth, why you’re hiring now, and the future growth potential. You’re not just attracting candidates; you’re also clarifying the importance of the position. 

If this is hard to articulate, it might be a sign you need to think through the role more thoroughly.


What will this person do daily within the first 6 months?

Finding the right balance between being too high-level and too detailed is key. You’re building the roadmap for onboarding, so dive in. Focus on specific areas and accomplishments rather than generic phrases like “take ownership of the role.”

Think of this section as a way for candidates to self-eliminate. They’ll read the details and decide if the role excites them. Be clear and realistic about what the job entails—whether it’s maintaining legacy code or conducting hours of phone interviews—so candidates can gauge their interest early on.

Also, use this section to highlight exciting growth opportunities. Write specific, engaging language like “create our first customer onboarding program by working closely with the CRO and CEO.” This helps attract candidates who are genuinely excited about the role and its potential.


What skills and experiences does the candidate need to be able to do this job on day one? This does not include skills that can be learned. 

I often find this to be the weakest part of most job descriptions. Managers tend to copy and paste from other job postings with minimal review. True requirements should serve as a gatekeeper—can you code in C++? Have you worked at a digital marketing firm? Without meeting these, a candidate is a non-starter.

If a soft skill is necessary, specifying how it applies to the job is helpful. For example, “Strong organizational skills to provide consistent updates on progress and plans to stakeholders.”

Additionally, if other skills would make a candidate stand out but aren’t strict requirements, consider adding a “nice to have” section. This could include experience with a specific tool, interaction with a particular sector, or running a unique yet transferable project. It’s like adding items to your wishlist—you never know what might catch someone’s eye.

Step 3: Edit

I cannot emphasize this step enough. Most job descriptions are TOO LONG and filled with pointless bullets.

A lot of people don’t read “strong communication skills” or “attention to detail” and think, “Well, that’s not me, I guess I won’t apply.” You can assess these skills during the interview. There’s no need to list them as bullet points. If the job primarily involves writing or speaking, get specific—like “ability to craft influential content for an external audience.”

Remove the basics and any soft skills that can be evaluated early in the interview process. Avoid vague phrases like “comfortable working in a fast-paced environment” or “passionate about problem-solving.” If you must include them, put them in the “nice to have” section.

Step 4: Put Your Job Description to Work

An often overlooked step is connecting the well-crafted job description to the candidate’s journey through the interview process. Take the effort you put into writing the specs and translate them into your interview flow.

In the first round of interviews, you can qualify candidates based on the requirements. Aside from the ones you can verify on a resume, this round allows you to confirm if they have the skills and experience needed for the job’s basics. It’s also a chance to start assessing those working skills we took off the job description, such as communication or teamwork. Remember to include these in your rubric or feedback form for consistency across candidates.

The role’s responsibilities translate into behavioral questions asked during the interview process. Past experience predicts future performance. Look for situations where candidates have been in similar roles and assess their performance. For example, if the job involves managing 10-20 clients with multiple workloads, ask questions to understand their organizational skills, ability to handle competing responsibilities, and enthusiasm for the work.

Decide who to include in your interview loop based on who this person will closely work with and partner with cross-functionally. Tailor the focus areas for each interviewer based on their interaction with this role. This ensures a comprehensive evaluation and helps determine the best fit for the team.

Additional Tip

Some companies take their job descriptions one step further by building out goals to hit as you are ramping into the role. One of our portfolio companies, DataGrail, creates an onboarding roadmap by including a 90-180-360-day plan of accomplishments. This sets clear expectations for the role and provides a structured framework for onboarding new hires and guiding their development over time.

Provided by DataGrail


Take the time to build out your job description thoroughly. This ensures you grasp the full scope of the role, enables candidates to truly understand the position, and streamlines the construction of your interview process. Candidates will appreciate the effort you put into the process, and you’ll receive clearer signals to make the best decision.