Sample General Job Description Outline
The ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. To determine
whether an individual is qualified, the essential functions of each job should be identified. Essential
job functions are those that are intrinsic to the position, and the individual who holds the job must
be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodation.
POSITION PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
This is a short, general summary of the overall purpose and objectives of the position. This section should
include statements describing the job's primary responsibility, the end results the job is expected to
accomplish, and the degree of freedom to act (e.g., “under direct supervision,” “under indirect
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS
Each job has a number of tasks, duties and responsibilities that comprise the means of accomplishing the
job’s purpose and objectives. This section provides a list of those essential job functions. This is a crucial
part of the Job Description because an employer is not obligated to accommodate an essential function.
Where possible, as with certain ‘white collar’ jobs, the statement can include a description of what the
function is and why it is required. For example, “Reviews and approves all personnel requisitions and
payroll authorizations for accuracy and compliance with performance, salary review and administration
In compiling this list, arrange the functions by area of responsibility and priority. List the functions within
each area in order of importance. Also, when appropriate, note the timeliness and/or frequency of
functions as appropriate (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly). But remember, this is not a work assignment
sheet; it is a generalized description.
All position guides should include the following ‘Essential Functions’:
1. Must be able to come to work promptly and regularly.
2. Must be able to take direction and work well with others.
3. Must be able to work under the stress of deadlines.
4. Must be able to concentrate and perform accurately
5. Must be able to react to change productively and to handle other tasks as assigned.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES REQUIRED
This section details the specific knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the various functions
of the job. Each statement should include what is required and why it is required. For example,
“Employee must know how to use Lotus 1-2-3 to maintain various budget and expense reports.”
These statements should be stated as minimum requirements to accomplish the essential job functions and
should be supported by the essential job functions listed above. Any physical abilities required by the job
also should be detailed in this section (e.g., “Ability to repeatedly lift and carry 25 lbs. for periods of one
to two hours in order to load bundles onto trucks”) or in the “Essential Functions,” if appropriate. This
section may also be expanded to include “Minimum Qualifications,” below.
This section details the scope of the position’s supervisory responsibility; a list of jobs that report to the
incumbent should be included.
If there are unique or unusual conditions different from a normal office environment, they should be listed
here. Working conditions should be inherent to the job; in other words, the job cannot be performed
without exposure to the conditions described in this section, e.g., ‘most of the work is outdoors, regardless
of the weather.’
This section lists the minimum education, experience, or combination of education and experience
required to obtain the job. It is important that these qualifications be stated as minimums; if they are
inflated, they may screen out people who are qualified to do the work.
There are certain personal characteristics that contribute to an individual’s ability to excel in a particular
job. This section of the position guide should list those characteristics that the supervisor expects will
result in successful performance of the job.