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Write job descriptions and ads

Get the right person for the job – clearly define the duties of a new employee

On this page

  • Write a job description
  • Design a job advertisement
  • Target the right people for the position

Write a job description

Writing a job description helps:

  • define the duties a new staff member will be responsible for
  • the previous experience and skills they'll need
  • what level of authority they will hold.

If you're not sure how to write a job description, use the templates we've provided below.

The following points – along with our templates – will ensure you'll be well on your way to hiring an employee who'll fit your business needs.

1. Create the job title

Include who the person reports to, and what section of the business the job fits in.

2. Write a summary of the job

Include what the job entails and list the key responsibilities of the job – normally around eight.

3. Check employment type

Identify how the person will be hired, such as full-time, part-time or casual.

For help deciding which employment type will be best for you, visit our page on employment types and hiring options.

4. Identify the selection criteria

Include what qualifications, skills and work experience the successful candidate needs to have – or state no previous experience or skills are necessary if you're wanting to train people on the job.

5. Use our job description templates

Create a job description that can be modified for advertising, and simply adjust the documents to suit the needs of your business.

Simple job description template (DOCX 36.16 KB)DOCX icon

Detailed job description template (DOCX 30.49 KB)DOCX icon

After you've completed the job description, get someone independent to review it and see if it's clear and easy for the potential employee to understand.

Design a job advertisement

When you advertise the job, consider what type of advertising will attract the best candidates.

Options include:

  • online, such as website or social media channels
  • an advertisement in your shop window
  • word of mouth
  • headhunting
  • recruitment agencies
  • local newspaper job ads.

Here's a tip: Your store window is a good place to advertise for a part-time retail shop assistant, along with the local paper. If you're hiring an IT professional an ad online will probably get the right peoples' attention.

Headhunting involves sourcing a person you believe has all the skills you want for your business. You may have met them through another business or network. You will need to make sure the position will be attractive enough for the person you approach to consider giving up their current job.

Know your competitors

Find out who else is hiring and what they're offering. Think about things like:

  • locations
  • hours
  • career development opportunities.

Know your industry

Check what the average age and turnover rates are for your industry/job type – and what sort of job conditions will interest your average worker.

Stand out from the crowd

Talk to your best existing employees about what attracted them to the job – and what could make it better.

Get outside advice

Make sure you consult employees and colleagues on the job description and advertisement – this will improve the final product and help people feel valued and consulted.

Job advertisement templates

Example job ad for print (DOC 29.5 KB)DOC icon

Example online job ad (DOCX 33.6 KB)DOCX icon

Target the right people

Job advertisements should strongly attract applicants with clear statements about:

  • benefits of the position
  • prospects of the organisation
  • opportunities offered for successful candidates
  • access to additional information or further enquiries.

The applicant should recognise:

  • what the job is
  • its basic functions
  • how it fits into the organisational structure.

It should attract the applicant's interest by presenting a favourable image of the organisation.

When considering your options for employment, be sure to look at:

  • Restart Program – offering incentives for employing people aged 50 or older
  • Jobs Victoria – providing targeted support services for people looking for work and for employers looking for workers.

Here's a tip: Have a look at the Job Description Template as it will show you what details to include in the advertisement. Make sure to include clear instructions on how and where to apply – including the name of a contact person.

Using online platforms

The internet is a relatively inexpensive advertising medium that can allow you to specifically target groups that will suit your needs. It also means instant access for both employers and applicants.

Online advertisers will require you set up an account with all your contact details and billing information, such as:

  • your company logo
  • information about your company
  • attachments, for example an application form.

Check out these well known and trusted websites as an option to advertise your job vacancies:

Case study: How to attract the best staff

'Tip, enthusiasm and an ability to learn always add to the talents people have. This makes up for any lack of experience they can acquire as I am prepared to coach them.'

Liz Roadley, Stitches to Style

Read more about How to attract the best staff

A shelf full of bright fabrics at Stitches To Style