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How to Write a Skills-Based Job Description (With an Example)

A well-crafted job description helps job seekers see themselves in the role, determine if they have the right skills to perform, and indicates what skills they might develop on the job. By taking time to craft skills-based job descriptions, you widen talent pools, attract more diverse candidates, and increase hiring velocity. It’s one of the first steps on your hiring for skills journey.

Follow these guidelines and view the example to get started.

Re-examine each part of your existing job descriptions 

As you evaluate job descriptions through the lens of skills, keep these questions in mind:

  • What skills does the job require, which do they need to have on day one, and which skills can they acquire over time?
  • Are there components that imply a bias towards a pedigree or specific educational/work experiences that aren’t necessary to excel at the job? 
  • Do the requirements align with the job’s required competencies? 

Components of the Job Description

Job Description

  • Outline how specific skills will be used in the role and communicate its business impact. Include a breakdown of daily and weekly job duties and describe the types of projects the role covers. Candidates empowered with this information can assess whether their skill set matches the competencies required.
  • Frame the role in positive, general terms that don’t imply biases toward specific age ranges or educational backgrounds. 
  • Indicate the benefits an employee will receive from working in the role. This might include the opportunity to build new skills or contribute to a compelling company mission.

Company Description

  • In addition to a description of what your company does, articulate your company’s approach to career development and list behavioral values that guide how work gets done.

Required Qualifications 

  • Include the skills a candidate will need to show up and be successful on day one. This includes not only technical skills but also behavioral skills such as communication, persuasion, adaptability, etc.
  • Be specific about competencies/skills required that are not educational-degree or experience level specific. This reduces the chance of applicants having to guess if they’re a good fit before they begin the application and interview process. 
  • Is a certification or form of education (e.g., college major) necessary for this role? Unless the position requires specific science/math knowledge only transferable via a particular degree, don’t limit your job opportunities to specific majors.
  • List other ways the candidate could have acquired the skills and knowledge you need without having a degree or certification. This avoids closing the talent pool to only members of specific economic/academic backgrounds and ensures compliance in some countries.
  • If the role requires knowledge of certain software or tools, list them one by one.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Include the skills that would be nice to have, such as additional education, areas of expertise, or leadership skills. This section allows you to attract your ideal candidate while not limiting your reach by making the job description so specific that it turns away candidates who meet the required qualifications.

Additional Information

Include the compliance statements standard in your region. These may include:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
  • Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO)
  • Candidate Data Privacy Notice 

Example Job Description

The following job description may or may not be similar to how your organization currently writes job descriptions. The purpose of this example is to demonstrate how you can weave skills into the qualifications section of the job description without having to make a separate list of skills. By tying each job duty to the skills required to carry it out, you give candidates the opportunity to self-assess their current skillset and imagine themselves in the role. 

Skills-based hiring does not stop at the job description. Writing the job description in this way becomes a baseline for how you evaluate the candidate. For each skill in your list, consider how you will evaluate it. For example, to evaluate program design skills, you could ask a behavioral question such as, “Tell me about a program you designed and implemented.” 

A well-designed hiring process with multiple interviewers will have predetermined skill-based questions for each interviewer. This way, questions don’t get repeated and you can put together a picture of the whole candidate as a team.

Position Title: Customer Service Manager

Skills-based verbiage in bold

Job Description

The Customer Service Manager is responsible for ensuring the satisfaction of our customers. This position will report to our Managing Director, and keep them up to date on activities within the Customer Service department. In this job, you will supervise the daily operations of the customer service representatives, create a reliable customer loyalty program, and manage the relationships with customers, including handling customer queries and complaints. You will get the opportunity to build relationships with our valued customers, make an impact on our contract renewal rate, and foster team spirit among a group of dedicated employees.

Indicates the benefits an employee will receive from working in the role.

Company Description

The Fuller Organization is a company rooted in cleaning values. The organization founded in 1875 helps customers achieve high levels of cleanliness at a reasonable cost.  We pride ourselves on our customer relationships and strong customer loyalty. Working with the Fuller team is exciting, fast-paced, and will reward you with the knowledge that your work contributes to peace of mind and environments that meet high standards of hygiene.  At Fuller, we value the growth and development of every team member.  Our core value “Thrive together” means that we learn from each other and grow from it. We believe at Fuller you will not only find a great place to work, but also a great place to grow, learn new skills, and develop your career. 

Articulates the company’s approach to career development and lists behavioral values that guide how work gets done.


  • To manage a time of five customer service representatives, you’ll need skills in leadership and strong coaching skills.
  • A new customer loyalty program is a key initiative for our business. You’ll rely on project management and program design skills to design and implement this core program.
  • Ability to collaborate cross-functionally is essential to this role as you will be communicating with stakeholders across the marketing and services teams to execute the customer loyalty program and communicate results to business teams on an ongoing basis. Your skills in survey development and analysis with help you contribute to our team’s continuous improvement.
  • Your skills in customer interaction, problem-solving, negotiation, and communication will help us deliver unparalleled service that keeps our customers coming back.
  • You are a fast learner with new systems and have demonstrable skills with word processing software, spreadsheets, and presentations.

Includes the skills a candidate will need to show up and be successful on day one.

Lists required tools/software

Avoids listing educational requirements or years of required experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • Two or more years of experience managing teams in a customer service environment.
  • Experience in the service industry

Includes nice-to-haves

Additional Information

This is a full-time, salaried role that covers a Monday-Friday day shift. We offer health, vision, dental, life, and disability insurance, 401(k) matching, an employee assistance program, parental leave, and paid time off.

The Company provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type, without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

Includes useful details about the job, benefits information, and compliance statements

Learn how to hire for skills

To learn how to build skills-based hiring into every aspect of your TA process, download our ebook, A Practical Guide on Hiring for Skills


Lee Ann Prescott