How to Write the Perfect Scientific Job Description


By Mat Rosso

You know exactly what you need potential candidates to bring to the table, but it’s not always easy to put a job position into words. However, it’s important to have a detailed and specific job description in order to attract the life sciences candidates you want. Here is a step-by-step guide to writing the perfect scientific job description:


Step #1: Writing Style – Make it readable.



  • Use clear and concise language.
  • Use the present tense.
  • Omit unnecessary articles such as “a,” “an,” and “the” for easy-to-read descriptions.
  • Use keywords that will come up in a search and attract the right people.
  • Keep description between 700-2,000 words, they get 30% more applies (Indeed).
  • Break up paragraphs to make it easy to read. Bullet points and numbered lists work well.



  • Don’t use a subject when describing tasks. Ex: “Collects and reports data on a daily basis.”
  • No references to race, religion, age, sex, nationality, sexuality, or physical or mental disability.
  • No internal language. Make sure an outsider from your company will understand your terms.
  • No typos!


Step #2: Job title – Hook them in.


The title should be self explanatory. You can use fun descriptors, but make sure it is understandable and has key words for search purposes. When in doubt, save your creativity for later in the description.


Step #3: Company Description – Who are you?


What does your company do? Where are you located? What size is the company? Provide a link to your site or company logo so that applicants can read up ahead of time.

Don’t be afraid to use some personality, it will attract people like you. It’s also important to describe your company’s culture, structure, philosophy. You want people to be excited to work for you. So grab their attention or they won’t read any further.


Step #4: Job Responsibilities – What will they do?


  • What will their day-to-day activities look like? Paint a picture.
  • What qualifications and skills are necessary for this specific job? Don’t just list everything.
    • Instrumentation, ex: LC-MS, GC-MS, FTIR, UV-Vis, TGA
    • Software, ex: Analyst, LIMS
    • Laboratory Certifications, ex: PMP, Lean Six Sigma
    • Quality Regulations, ex: ISO 13485
  • How does this position interact within the organization? Who do they report to?
  • Also, is there a training period? If so, give details.


Step #5: Expectations – Don’t be disappointed.

  • What qualities, education, and experience do you want from them?
  • Are they able to travel?
    • Ex: Required to travel to clients 50%-70% of the time.
  • What competencies would be a plus, but aren’t required?
    • Ex: Experience with clients, business development, method development.
  • Are there physical requirements?
    • Ex: Need to life samples up to 50lbs, need to withstand -80°F temperatures, need to be able to stand on feet for long periods of time.


Step #6: Job details – The specifics.


  • What type of employment is it?
    • Ex: Full-time, Part-time, Interim, Consulting?
    • Also, some positions don’t require relocation, ex: Virtual, remote login, etc.


Step #7: Next Steps – If they’re interested…


Tell them how to apply. Include who they should contact and what materials are required of them. Make sure all of this is answered, or you’ll be in for a lot of back-and-forth emails with new candidates.


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