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Jobs > Hiring Tips & Strategies > 8 Aspects Of A Great Job Description

8 Aspects Of A Great Job Description

January 14, 2014

Nonprofit hiring managers must constantly battle to attract the most talented employees to their organizations. While brand recognition and positive coverage does a lot to help that cause, the one thing that will always get a job seeker’s attention is a strong job description.

In the book “Nonprofit Management 101,” James Weinberg and Cassie Scarano of Commongood Careers wrote that attracting and selecting the best candidates for the job begins with crafting a compelling job description. While some people think of job listings as a straightforward outline of the position, it is also at its core a marketing tool. That is, it must engage potential candidates by communicating the opportunities available through the position, as well as outline the requirements so applicants can determine their fit.

Weinberg and Scarano wrote that a great job description should contain the following eight elements:

  • Title: Keep it short, concise, descriptive of the position, and widely recognizable.
  • Organizational Overview: Introduce your organization through a succinct and enthusiastic paragraph that outlines the organization’s mission and programs, success to date, growth plans, future opportunities, and culture.
  • Position Overview: Use one well-written paragraph to describe the overall function of the position and highlight the opportunities for impact and leadership.
  • Responsibilities: Use five to seven bullets to provide detail about the responsibilities of the position. To effectively describe the opportunities of the position, use engaging and active language.
  • Qualifications: This section should outline the experience and competencies required for success in the position  and your organization without being overly prescriptive.
  • Compensation Range: Disclosing specific information about salary and benefits is not required and is not recommended as it limits the candidates you will see.
  • Application Instructions: Be very specific about how you want candidates to apply for the position.
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: It is good practice to have an equal opportunity employer policy and to include that on your job description. In most cases a simple “[Company Name] Is an equal opportunity employer” should suffice.


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