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Writing a Position Description

Writing a Position Description.jpgThe UMass Chan job descriptions are competency-based and include the following types of competency based descriptions:

CORE: These descriptions are for jobs found in more than one department at UMass Chan.  These jobs have the same functions and qualifications and are graded the same throughout UMass Chan.

UNIQUE: These position descriptions are specific to a department or require a very particular set of skills and experience.

Writing UMass Chan Job Description

CURRENT PROCESS - Electronic Template: The electronic UMass Chan Position Description template is available on compensation website. The Essential Responsibilities should be listed in order of importance with the percentage of time indicated. Before beginning to write a position description, spend some time compiling information and thinking about what the job entails. Please review the following tips before writing your position description: 

  • DO NOT attempt to write a position description to “fit” a specific individual. A position description should be thought of as a business plan for a needed position within the context of the department’s structure.
  • Use short, direct action verbs (selected from drop-down lists contained in the Essential and Nonessential sections of the position description).
  • Keep sentences concise and clear.
  • Essential functions should be grouped into categories that could include several specific responsibilities.

FUTURE PROCESS - JDXpert Position Description System: UMass Chan has a new position description system called JDXpert that consists of all existing UMass Chan job descriptions and is currently available to managers for review and/or revisions to their existing UMass Chan job descriptions. However, the Compensation department has not yet launched the JDXpert system for managers to create new job descriptions. Therefore, managers should use the current electronic position description template to create a position description until this launch.

* (Coming Soon) Access to the JDXpert portal is available to managers for review/revisions to their existing job descriptions only by accessing the JDXpert portal via the Portals section of this Manager website. 

*A manager will not have access to the JDXpert system unless they have attended the required system training that will grant them approval for access.

When should a position description be rewritten?

A position description should be rewritten when there are significant changes to the functions, competencies, and/or qualifications. Position descriptions should be reviewed on a periodic basis to determine whether they are still accurate and current. You can access the UMass Chan existing job descriptions from the JDXpert Position Description System.

Section by section instructions for completing the position description

UMass Chan has adopted a competency based format for position descriptions. Please click on the tile in this website called, Preparing Position Descriptions Guide, for section-by-section instructions on competing a UMass Chan position descripiton.