Completing the Job Description: Sample Job Description
The job description is a valuable management tool
used to describe the specific duties of a position along with the required education
and necessary experience. The following information can be used as a guide in
developing a job description.
a job description and a performance program:
A clearly written
job description communicates the
scope and nature of the job responsibilities to the employee or job
applicant. The focus is on duties and responsibilities and it remains
fairly stable. It is used as a starting point in the development of
the yearly performance program. When the performance program is developed,
the job description is reviewed and edited, if necessary, to reflect
any major changes in job responsibilities.
While the job
description will remain the same or similar over time, the performance
program changes each year to reflect the specific goals and focus for
the upcoming year.
- Employee Name
- Budget Title
- The formal appointment title in the SUNY system that is linked to
the salary grade (SL) level.
- Local Title
- The title used on the Buffalo State campus. It may
be the same or different than the budget title. If different,
it will be more descriptive than the budget title or indicate the
department in which the position is found.
- Salary Level
- Select appropriate level from the drop-down menu.
- The direct supervisor who develops the performance program and completes
- Supervisor's local title.
Briefly describe the position.
This summary should be an overview of the position and no more than 4-5
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A. Essential Responsibilities:
Essential responsibilities are the fundamental duties the incumbent performs,
the "must haves" of the position. By law, a job function may
be considered essential if the reason the position exists is to perform
that function, or because of the limited number of employees available
to perform the function, or because the function is highly specialized
and the incumbent in the position has been hired for his or her ability
to perform the function.
Duties may be deemed essential based on the
percentage of time spent performing them and the consequences of not having
them performed. A duty may be essential if it requires a certain degree
of skill or expertise. Some guidelines and information for writing the
- Each major duty performed should be listed
- Indicate the percentage of time spent
on each, clarifying the most important functions.
- Be as descriptive as possible.
- Use action verbs (e.g. trains, operates,
supervises, etc) that best describes the work performed.
- If using verbs such as "assists"
or phrases such as "is responsible for" explain how and to
what degree the individual assists others or is responsible for completion
of the task(s).
- Describe the level of supervision received,
i.e. "closely supervised" or "expected to act independently"
and give examples of procedures/policies followed.
- Provide examples of the level of authority
and the decisions the individual is expected to make.
- Describe who is supervised by this position.
analyze, compile, compare,
copy, compute, synthesize, coordinate
negotiate, instruct, direct,
supervise, assist, help, mentor,
setup, schedule, operate,
drive, manipulate, handle, arrange, prepare,
B. Secondary Responsibilities:
Secondary responsibilities are routine duties that must be performed coincidentally
with the essential responsibilities. The job does not exist to perform
these ancillary functions.
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Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Detail the necessary skills,
knowledge, and abilities required for the position, linking them to the
essential job functions. Information to include in this section:
- Specific knowledge needed (e.g.
knowledge of Microsoft PowerPoint)
- The level of knowledge (e.g. some
working, or detailed, etc.)
- Physical and mobility requirements
(e.g. ability to transport equipment)
- Mental abilities (e.g. ability
to work under pressure)
Describe the minimum qualifications
needed to perform the position, as well as the preferred qualifications
for the position, if different from minimum.
Include the date the job description was developed and when it was last
reviewed and revised. Information to include in this
- Number of years of experience,
and type of experience
- Licenses, certificates
- If a certain number of years of
experience can be a substitute for education (e.g. an associates
degree or two years of experience)
and supervisor sign to acknowledge that this job description accurately
reflects the employee's current job responsibilities.
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