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How to Write an Effective Scientific Job Description

In the realm of scientific recruitment, an effective job description is akin to the North Star. It guides both hiring managers and potential candidates, setting expectations and laying the foundation for a successful hiring process. Let’s explore why a strong job description is beneficial, discuss the different components, and highlight some best practices.

The Benefits of a Strong Job Description

First off, a strong job description attracts quality candidates. It should pique the interest of talent who feel their skills align with the role and your company’s values. If the job description accurately reflects the position, it can help them assess their suitability before applying, thereby minimising applications from candidates who aren’t a good fit. This, in turn, saves everyone time.

An effective job description reduces ambiguity and ensures everyone involved in the hiring process, from the recruiters to the interviewers, is on the same page. It also sets clear expectations for candidates regarding job responsibilities, qualifications, and the company culture, to reduce any misunderstandings later in the hiring process.

The Components of a Good Job Description

An effective scientific job description should at least include the following key components:

  • Job Title: Begin with a clear, descriptive job title that accurately reflects the role, such as “Research Scientist” or “Data Analyst”.
  • Company Overview: Offer a brief introduction to your organisation, its mission, and its culture. Explain what makes your company unique.
  • Summary of the Role: Provide a concise overview of the position’s purpose and importance within your organisation.
  • Responsibilities: Enumerate the core responsibilities and duties associated with the role. Use bullet points for clarity.
  • Qualifications and Requirements: Specify the qualifications, skills, experience, and education required for the position. Distinguish between essential and desirable qualifications.
  • Salary and Benefits: While some companies prefer not to disclose salary details, offering a salary range or mentioning competitive compensation can appeal to candidates. Highlight benefits and perks as well.
  • Application Process: Explain how candidates should apply (online link or email), including any required documents or assessments, and provide a contact person for inquiries.

Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Job Description

Here are some extra best practices to keep in mind while writing your job description.


  • Be Specific: Use clear, precise language to describe the role’s responsibilities and expectations.
  • Be Inclusive: Ensure your language is inclusive, avoiding terms that might discourage diverse candidates.
  • Proofread and Edit: Before publishing, carefully review the job description to eliminate errors, inconsistencies, or ambiguities.
  • Set Clear Expectations: Define the role’s expectations, including responsibilities, work environment, and growth opportunities.
  • Highlight Your Company Culture: Emphasize your company’s unique culture and values to attract candidates who resonate with your ethos.


  • Overload with Jargon: Even when candidates should know the industry jargon, avoid using them.
  • Overcomplicate It: Keep the description concise, focusing on the most critical details and not overloading it with unnecessary information.
  • Discriminate: Ensure your job description does not contain any discriminatory language or requirements that could be seen as biased.
  • Make False Promises: Be honest and transparent about the role and your company to manage candidate expectations.
  • Neglect Mobile Accessibility: Make sure your job description is easily readable on mobile devices, considering the prevalence of mobile job searches.

Example of a Good Job Description

Use the below example as a starting point for your job description. Make sure to add your own details and creativity to attract the right candidates.

Position: Research Scientist

Company Overview: At [Your Company Name], we are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of scientific research. Our culture values innovation, collaboration, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge.

Role Summary: We are seeking a talented Research Scientist to join our dynamic team. In this role, you will lead groundbreaking research projects, collaborate with cross-functional teams, and contribute to our mission of advancing scientific discovery.


  • Design and conduct experiments, analyse data, and report findings.
  • Lead research projects, manage research teams, and foster collaboration.
  • Present research findings to internal and external audiences.
  • Contribute to grant applications and research proposals.
  • Stay up-to-date with industry developments and integrate innovative approaches into our research.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • D. in a relevant field (e.g., Chemistry, Biology, or Physics).
  • Proven experience in designing and executing experiments and research projects.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication and presentation abilities.
  • Track record of successful collaboration and project management.

Salary and Benefits: Competitive salary with experience. Benefits include medical aid, contributions to a retirement annuity, and opportunities for professional development.

Application Process: To apply, please submit your CV, a cover letter highlighting your suitability for this position, and three references to [Your Email Address].

No time to write job descriptions? Contact us through our online contact form and let us help you find and attract suitable candidates.