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How To Write A Job Specification

Employment Discrimination

Writing an accurate and effective job specification to accompany your job description is vital when you want to attract and evaluate the best candidates. Spending a little time crafting a job spec will save your company time later in the hiring process, when hiring managers come to screen applicants. Good job specifications ensure candidates are appropriate, while bad job specifications attract CVs from applicants who are a poor fit, which might mean starting your recruitment process again from scratch.

Download Job Specification Template

Here we offer free access to a job description sample, explore the job specification meaning, and share how to write a job spec, complete with an example and good job specification template that you can download.

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Highlights And Key Requirements:

  1. A job specification means a list of job requirements, including educational requirements, emotional characteristics, experience, and skills.
  2. You can use a job spec template when preparing to advertise for a new position.

Job Specification Meaning

The Benefits Of Defining Job Specifications

Job specification meaning: The term ‘job specification’ means a list that describes the essential skills and knowledge, required education, experience, and personality traits candidates must possess to apply for a complete the duties and job responsibilities of a position. So, job descriptions state the main duties and key responsibilities of a job, while job specifications state the personal traits and necessary skills candidates need to complete them.

The job title, company summary, job description, and job specification are combined to create a job ad ready for posting.

Post your job advert on job sites in the UK.

How To Write A Job Spec: Components Of A Job Specification

Job specs provide a framework for the recruitment process and candidate selection. So, they must be created carefully and be free from internal terminology to ensure the right candidate is hired.

To be effective, your job specification should include four components:


This job posting section covers the qualifications required to apply for and complete the role. You can add qualifications to your job descriptions, such as a high school diploma, GCSE, A-level, and Bachelor’s degree.

To attract the right talent, your business needs to consider what constitutes over-qualified and under-qualified. If you are posting an entry-level job, you probably don’t need to ask for potential applicants with a Bachelor’s degree. Asking for unneeded qualifications or failing to mention essential qualifications will mean hearing from few candidates appropriate for the role (and salary).


The required skills part of the job spec defines general technical skills, such as software proficiency, and soft skills, including team management, leadership, numeracy, and communication. To quantify skills, your company may want to ask candidates about recognition, certificates, and awards or test and verify them through questioning during the interview stage of the recruitment process.


Adding required experience into your job specification may be helpful when you need a person who has worked in a particular industry or a similar positions. If the position doesn’t require previous experience, you might mention on-the-job training to encourage applications from potential new employees looking to advance their knowledge and career.


Personality traits are the desirable characteristics the ideal candidate should demonstrate. Personal traits are vital because they indicate how a person may act or perform in a particular situation. The candidate’s emotional intelligence and tendencies could tell you if the potential employee is a cultural fit for your team and organisation or can communicate and interact effectively with your customers, suppliers, and business partners.

Steps For Writing A Job Specification

Job Spec Example

These are the steps to follow to write a job specification:

  1. Analyse the job description to decide if education and qualifications are required to perform the role.
  2. Review the job title and job description to determine the seniority of the role and its degree of specialisation. This will help you judge the years of experience talent needs to be successful in the position.
  3. Read the job description and speak to a line manager or existing employee to create a list of required skills.
  4. Review your company summary, mission, values, and job description to identify soft skills and personality traits.
  5. Check that the job specification does not include discriminatory terms or mentions race, sexual orientation, gender, age, or religion.

The Objectives And Purposes Of Job Specifications

Review the objectives and purposes below if you are still debating whether to invest time in creating job specifications to accompany your job descriptions.


  • Highlight the necessary skills and education to perform tasks
  • Create a framework for identifying the best talent
  • Create a framework for screening candidates
  • Help managers and HR appraise employee performance


  • Help a job seeker with their job search and decide if they are eligible to apply for a role with your organisation
  • Help recruiters during the selection process
  • Create a record of skills needed to complete a job
  • Create a document that defines situational and behavioural expectations

Job Specification Examples

Crafting a compelling job specification is an art in itself. It serves as the blueprint for potential candidates entering the hiring process, outlining the expectations and requirements of the role. To illustrate this, let’s delve into two job specification examples. These examples are designed to encapsulate the essential components of a job specification, ensuring a comprehensive understanding.

1. Marketing Manager

Objective: To lead and oversee the marketing department, driving brand awareness and sales through strategic marketing initiatives.

Components of a Job Specification:

  • Physical Demands: This role primarily involves office-based work with occasional travel for market research and campaigns.
  • Specific Qualifications: A Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Business Administration, or a related field is essential. An MBA would be advantageous.
  • Skills Required: Exceptional leadership abilities, creative thinking, proficiency in digital marketing tools, and excellent communication skills.

2. Software Developer

Objective: To develop and maintain software applications, ensuring they meet user needs and are efficient, robust, and scalable.

Components of a Job Specification:

  • Physical Demands: Primarily sedentary, requiring long periods of computer-based work.
  • Specific Qualifications: A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering. Certifications in specific programming languages or technologies are desirable.
  • Skills Required: Strong proficiency in coding languages such as Java, Python, or C++, problem-solving skills, and a keen eye for detail.

These examples highlight the importance of clearly outlining the physical demands, specific qualifications, and skills required for the role. It is essential to create a job specification that not only attracts the right candidates but also sets a clear idea of expectations for the role.

To assist you in crafting your ideal job specification, we have the perfect job specification template complete with a template checklist. This resource simplifies the process, ensuring that you cover all necessary aspects, from the basic role outline to the more detailed components of a job specification. Our template provides a solid foundation, helping you attract the most suitable candidates for your organisation.

Download Job Specification Template

Job Specification FAQs

Here we answer employers’ job specification questions.


A job specification is a list of education, skills, experience, and traits needed by candidates to complete their job responsibilities and be successful with employers. Discover more by reading What Is A Job Specification?


View our job description examples here, which include a job specification example.


Employers can find an example of what to include by reading our article What To Include In A Job Specification.


A job specification example serves as a detailed description outlining the attributes required from candidates to perform a specific job effectively. For instance, for a Project Manager position, the job specification might include aspects such as: – Leadership skills: Ability to lead and manage a diverse existing team. – Alignment with company culture: Understanding and embodying the ethos and values of the organisation. – Work style: Adapting to the business requirements, be it through innovative approaches or adhering to a traditional remit. – Such a specification assists in narrowing down the candidate pool to those who best fit the role’s demands and the company’s ethos.


The contents of a job specification typically include: 1. Required Qualifications: Educational background and professional certifications. 2. Experience: Specific industry or job-related experience. 3. Skills and Abilities: Both hard and soft skills pertinent to the role, such as leadership skills or technical expertise. 4. Work Style and Personality Traits: Attributes that dictate how a candidate will fit into the existing team and company culture. 5. Physical and Mental Demands: If the job requires particular physical effort or mental acumen. – These components ensure that the job specification aligns with the overall business requirements and targets the appropriate audience.


The document that lists the skills, experience, qualifications, and characteristics for a job is known as a Job Specification. It is a critical tool in the interview process, helping to guide employers in identifying the most suitable candidates from the larger candidate pool. A well-crafted job specification aids in working closely with human resources and department heads to create effective work relationships, ensuring the recruitment process is streamlined and targeted to attract individuals whose profiles match the specified criteria.

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