Job Description Format


If developing a new title, it may be helpful to review other job titles at the College – all job descriptions are posted on the Middlebury PeopleAdmin web site here.  If your field has a national professional association, sample job descriptions and alternate titles can often be found there as well.

Position Number

This field will only be empty for new positions. Enter NEW.

Primary Purpose

This section should list the main reason the job exists.  Ideally, this can be expressed in 1 - 3 concise sentences, reflecting the most important aspects of the job.  This section can also reference the department and/or College’s strategic goals and/or mission.  When this position is posted to invite applicants this is the summary field that will display on the full listing of active job postings.

**The following tips should be considered when developing position details and can be applied to both the Essential Functions and General Responsibilities fields.**

  • Loosely prioritize this list so that the most important tasks are at the top.
  •  Avoid excessive detail; this list does not need to specifically name every single task.  A good rule of thumb is to aim for 8 – 14 points.  It can be helpful to create a detailed draft for this section by listing all activities, then group them into related ‘families’ of tasks and create a sentence or two that is broad enough to cover everything in that group. 
  • Ideally, each point includes the purpose and/or the result to be accomplished.  For example,
    • “Work with senior administrators to set appropriate goals for the ___ program, determine the most effective methods to achieve those goals, implement innovative program activities that engage employees, and evaluate results in order to ensure the College leads our industry in ____results.” rather than “Oversee _____ program.”
    •  Do not include information that changes frequently (i.e. refer to ‘applicable procedures’ rather than describing the procedure itself.)

Essential Functions

A job function is considered "essential" when performance of the function is the reason that the job exists. A function may be "essential" when: the number of employees available to perform   the function is limited, the function requires specialized skills, the function occupies a large percentage of time, and failure to perform the function may have serious consequences. List any tasks that meet this criteria for this position.

  • Include as a standard point “Other duties as assigned”

General Responsibilities

This section describes non-essential tasks that are somewhat significant and are performed occasionally. They do not affect the essence for the position. In many instances, a job may not have any non-essential duties. Reassigning these duties to another person would not significantly affect either person's job overall. For example, opening and distributing the mail may take approximately 10 minutes per day and therefore would not significantly change a person's job if it is reassigned. Opening and distributing mail was not the reason a particular job was created in this example.

Facts to consider:

  • Relationship of the task to the other tasks within the job
  • How reassigning the task will affect other employees and their jobs
  • Significance of the task and the conditions under which it is performed

Education & Training

  • Define the minimum level of education and training that would be required for someone to be successful in the position: “High School / Associate’s Degree / Bachelor’s Degree in a related field is required” and / or “Master’s Degree preferred.”
  • Define the minimum level of qualifications, not the ideal.  If you are hiring, you will not be able to consider candidates who don’t meet this minimum standard.  Hopefully you will have many applicants with higher qualifications than the minimum to choose from. 
  • Note that current incumbents do not have to meet the minimum standard.  If the job requires an Associate’s Degree, but the current staff person does not have such a degree, that’s fine.  Put the true requirement in the job description to ensure accuracy.  The existing staff person will not be affected by this.   

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (and other)

  • Note any special knowledge required or preferred.
  • For example,
    • Effective interpersonal skills required,
    • Well-developed written and oral communication required,
    • Experienced Hyperion user preferred 
  • Note any licenses or additional certifications required or preferred.
  • Alternatively, the ability to obtain a license or certification may be required – for example: “ability to obtain College driver’s license is required.”
  • Note any other significant qualifications required or preferred.  (may list under sub-heading titled “Other”)
  • Note any travel requirements. (may list under sub-heading titled “Other”)
  • Note significant weekend or evening work commitments. (may list under sub-heading titled “Other”)


  • Note the minimum level of work experience required.  “At least ___ years of related experience is required”
  • You can use “preferred” to indicate things you would like to have, but don’t necessarily require.
  • Also include specific types of experience that are required or preferred.  For example, “Experience in closing leadership level donations is required.”  “Project management experience preferred.”
  • Again, this is the minimum, not the ideal.
  • Current incumbents are not required to meet this standard.

Physical Demands

  • Note the physical demands of the position.  For example, “Ability to climb stairs frequently, lift up to 50 pounds occasionally, and kneel, stoop, or crawl regularly.”
  • If a post-offer pre-employment screening is required for the position, the Human Resources office will include a link to the full physical demand requirements for the position.

Human Resources
Marble Works
152 Maple St.
Suite 101
Suite 203 (Benefits)
Middlebury, VT 05753
Phone: 802-443-5465
Fax: 802-443-2920
Benefits Fax: 802-443-2058