Writing Job Descriptions

There are obviously many ways to obtain job analysis information. You can get it from individual workers, groups, or supervisors or from the observations of job analysts, for instance. You can use interviews, observation, or questionnaire. Some firms use just one basic approach like having the job analyst do interview with current job incumbents. Yet one study suggests that using just one source may not be wise.

The problem is the potential inaccuracies in people’s judgments. For example, in a group interview, some group members may feel forced to go along with the consensus of the group; or an employee may be careless about how he or she completes a questionnaire. What this means is that collecting job analysis data from just interviews, or just observations, may lead to inaccurate conclusions. It’s better to try to avoid such inaccuracies by using several sources. For example, where possible, collect job analysis data from several types of respondents – groups, individuals, observers, supervisors and analysts, make sure the questions and surveys are clear and understandable to the respondents. And if possible, observe and question respondents early enough in the job analysis process to catch any problems while there’s still time to correct the job analysis procedure you’re using.

A job description is a written statement of what the worker actually does, how he or she does it, and what the job’s working conditions are. You use that information to write a job specification; this lists the knowledge, abilities, and skills required to perform the job satisfactorily.

There is no standard format for writing a job description. However, most descriptions contain sections that cover:

1. Job identification
2. Job summary
3. Responsibilities and duties
4. Authority of incumbent
5. Standards of performance
6. Working conditions
7. Job specifications

Job Title: Telesales Respresentative
Recommends Salary Grade:
Job family: Sales
Division: Higher Education
Department: In House sales
Job code: 100001
Exempt/Non-Exempt Status: Non-Exempt
EEOC: Sales Workers
Reports to: District Sales manager
Location: Boston
Date: April 2004.

Summary (Write a brief of Job)

This position is responsible for selling College textbooks, software and multimedia product to professors, via incoming and outgoing telephone calls, and to carry out selling strategies to meet sales goals in assigned territories of smaller colleges and universities. In additions, this position will be responsible for generating a designated amount of editorial leads, and communicating to the publishing groups product feedback and market trends observed in the assigned territory.

Scope and Impact of Job:
Dollar responsibilities (budget and/or revenue)

This position is responsible for generating approximately $2 million in revenue, for meeting operating expenses budget of approximately $4000 and a sampling budget of approximately 10,000 units.

Supervisory responsibilities (direct and indirect):



Required Knowledge and Experience (Knowledge and experience necessary to do job)
Related work experience

Prior sales or publishing experience preferred. One year of company experience in a customer service or marketing function with broad knowledge of company products and services is desirable.

Formal education or equivalent

Bachelor’s degree with strong academic performance or work equivalent experience.


Must have strong organizational and persuasive skills. Must have excellent verbal ad written communications skills and must be PC proficient.


Limited travel required (approx 5%)

Primary Responsibilities (List in order of importance and list of time spent on task)

Driving Sales (60%)

*Achieve quantitative sales goal for assigned territory of smaller colleges and universities.
* Determine sales priorities and strategies for territory and develop a plan for implementing those strategies.
* Conduct 15-20 professor interviews per day during the academic sales year that accomplishes priorities.
* Conduct product presentations (including texts, software, and web site), effectively articulate author’s centra vision of key titles; conduct sales interviews using the PSS model; conduct walk through of books and technology.
* Employ telephone selling techniques and strategies.
* Sample products to appropriate faculty making strategic use of assigned sampling budgets.
* Close class test adoptions for first edition products.
*Negotiate custom publishing and special packaging agreements within company guidelines
* Initiate and conduct in-person faculty presentations and selling trips as appropriate sales with the strategic use of travel budget. Also use internal resources to support the territory sales goals.
*Plan and execute in territory special selling events and book fairs.
* Develop and implement in-territory promotional campaigns and targeted email campaign.