How to write a position description

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How to write a position description

An accurate position description can give you the chance to be clear about what you want the role to do before the employee begins. It also gives a clear idea to the prospective or new employee what their role will be. The more accurate your Position Description is, the less time you will waste on inappropriate applicants and your new employee will be a much better fit if they are clear about the job they have accepted.  It can also be a useful tool for measuring performance and a reference in the event of disputes or disciplinary problems. Generally a Position Description should only be one or two pages long.

Job / Position Title

The job title is important as it is often used in keyword searches for people looking for work.  The job title needs to accurately reflect what the job does for the person applying as well as providing credibility to future clients.

Classification / Salary

Do some research to see what the average salary is for this position or does it come under an award?

Here is a link to the the award that's usually in our area - The Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services (SCHCADS) Industry Award 2010.


Is the position part-time, full-time, contract, casual, subject to funding, volunteer? Explain where the job will be located, if there is there parking, if there is flexibility to work from home, the hours the job can be performed in. Explain who the position reports to.

Summary of Position

Provide a brief overview of the position. This should only be one short paragraph. You may wish to briefly outline the benefits of your workplace e.g. A young, fun and creative team or a small compassionate organisation.

Duties and Responsibilities

Duties should be dot points and include an action, an object and a purpose e.g. compile annual reports for review by the Board at the AGM.  It may be useful to think about and specify what percentage of their time will be taken up by each duties. List the most important/time consuming first. If you say they will be writing reports and visiting clients will they spend most of their time at the computer or most of their time on the road visiting?

Qualifications, Skills and Competencies

Should be dot point. What do you want this person to know and be good at? First list the essential then the preferred qualifications and skills. These can include years of experience, licences, education level and technical proficiencies (such as high level of Excel skill). Skills are something a person has learnt whereas competencies may be traits or attributes such as works well in a team or a strong networker.


You may want to put a link or include on the following page the selection criteria for applying for the position and don’t forget to include a contact person and number or email. Include a space for the successful applicant to sign the position description – that shows that they accept the duties and responsibilities of the position. A date at the end of the position description ensures it is current and relevant.

Here is a Position Description Template you can use.


Designing Position Descriptions for volunteers