How to Break Down the Duties of a Position

by Sommer Dowdell; Updated September 26, 2017
Setting clear expectations for all positions makes the recruiting and retention process a little less confusing.

An employer who decides to create a new position--or clarify the requirements of an existing one--should note all expectations, qualifications and any special training needed. When job expectations are clearly defined, it is sometimes easier for an employee to meet or exceed them.

Since expectations for the same job title often varies by employer, it is important to note non-traditional tasks that are expected of workers.

For instance, data entry workers who assist in a mail room may be expected to scan mail or sign for incoming shipments. If they are also required to contact customers by phone to verify information before completing a transaction, this should be noted in their job description.

Items you will need

  • Computer with Internet Access
  • Word Processing Software

Use Online Resources

Step 1

Visit the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics at http://www.bls.gov/ (ref 1)

Step 2

Perform a keyword search for the job(s) you need a detailed description of. If you need information on a Data Entry and Information Processing position, type ‘Data Entry and Information Processing’ in the keyword search box in the top right-hand corner of the BLS website. A list of all relevant results will populate.

Step 3

Select the most recently updated and most fitting result that contains the acronym oco (occupational outlook) within its hyperlink (Example: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos155.htm). (ref 2) Read the full job description.

Step 4

Highlight and copy tasks (one at a time), from the BLS.gov website, that fit your requirements and paste them onto a new, blank, word processing document.

Organize Job Tasks

Step 1

List all key job responsibilities (e.g., data entry, travel planning, scheduling meetings) in order of importance.

Step 2

Create subcategories of work that are to be completed. These should be created for all key job responsibilities performed while on duty.

Step 3

List additional expectations (e.g., work well individually or in a team setting, work well in a fast-paced, high-stress environment).

Step 4

Note all qualifications the ideal candidate should have to succeed at the job (e.g., high school education or G.E.D., 1-2 years experience, great written and oral communication skills).

Step 5

Contact your Human Resource Department or a reputable job search website for data on similar job openings. This information can help you decide on the proper formatting for your breakdown of job duties.

About the Author

Sommer began writing professionally after her first article on the Million Man March was published in 1995, during her senior year in high school. Her work has been published in the "Chattanooga Times Free Press", "USA Today," the "Houston Chronicle," eHow, and AnswerBag.

Photo Credits

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