Using the Position Description (PD) template
- Guidelines for using the Position Description template
- About the custom styles available in the template
- Template tips documents (step-by-step guides with MS Word screenshots)
- Summary of the Position Description template changes
- More information about Styles
Visit our Recruiters’ portal for tips on writing Position Descriptions.
The information below outlines advice on formatting Position Descriptions.
Guidelines for using the Position Description template
The Position Description template (.doc) uses styles to structure the content and to standardise the formatting. Styles are standard and best-practice for structuring and formatting documents and will make it much easier to format/re-format. They also help to fulfill our requirement to provide accessible documents on the web by providing structural information about the content to assistive browsers (not to mention search engines and other indexers). This makes it easier for these machines (and therefore the people using them) to scan through, and to understand and use the content.
The least you need to know (required information)
- Use the inbuilt document styles to format / reformat your text
- The built-in styles will be preserved if you type your content over the field codes.
- However, if you are copying and pasting into the template you may need to clear formatting on your imported content and reapply the relevant style/s. Advice on how to do this is in the Template Tips (for Word 2003 and 2007) documents below.
- If copying and pasting content - copy the content into the template rather than copying the template formatting into another document - see the template tips for more information
- If you are having problems with any styles (after copying and pasting content for example) you can select the problem text then clear the formatting to make this content behave as a default Word style (Clear all or clear formatting is usually first in the Styles list). You should then re-style using one of the PD document styles.
- Turn on the field shading, type or paste over the field codes and ensure there are no more grey boxes when you have finished the PD
- Add in the Position Number in the second page header (double click to access the header)
- Edit or delete Section 4, as relevant
- Edit the document Properties of your final PDF to describe your PD content so that it can be indexed and searched efficiently. In Acrobat this is under File > Properties under the Description tab.
Optional / recommended
- Use F11 to tab through the fields that need to be edited
- If you are using the template frequently there are some shortcuts you can use to apply the main styles
- Edit the document properties
About the custom Styles available in the Position Description template
To view the custom styles:
- In Word 2003: Format > Styles and Formatting will open a panel showing a list of the Styles used (ensure that Available Styles is selected at the bottom of the panel).
- In Word 2007: Home tab > Styles section > click on the little arrow icon in the bottom left corner (or Alt+Ctrl+Shift+S) will open a panel showing the Styles. Tick the Show Preview box at the bottom of the panel.
See the template tips and for more information about using, editing and troubleshooting Styles (including screenshots) - especially if you are copying and pasting content into the template.
NEW! The PD template has keyboard shortcuts for the main Styles - view the shortcuts list.
Most of the Styles used in the template have a name that reflects their use. A summary of the main Styles is available below.
- Position Summary text and the front page data use Body Text
- All other text sections (that aren't lists or headers) use Body Text - Indent
- Links use hyperlink
- The main headings are numbered and should automatically adjust when sections are deleted (eg. Section 4).
- Position Title uses Position Title. You can use Position Title - extra padding when there is less information on the front page to centre it on the page.
- The main headings use Heading 1 (and variants), second level headings use Heading 2 and variants.
- Lists are formatted by default using the List Bullet style
- There are also some inbuilt numbered lists available to format the main sections, these are as follows:
- List - essential criteria
- List - desirable criteria
- List - key responsibilities
- List - special requirements
Template tips documents
The template tips documents below are step-by-step guides that feature screenshots and more detailed information on using Styles and troubleshooting tips.
Summary of the Position Description template changes
The new HR templates use field prompts and Styles.
The field prompts make it easier to see what information needs to be changed (when you turn field shading on) and to maintain the built in Styles as you type over the prompts.
The benefits of using Styles include:
- It’s easier and quicker to manage the formatting
- They help to keep documents looking more consistent and professional
- They help you think and to clarify document structure and message
- Using them makes the document easier for machines to understand the content (eg. assistive browsers, search engines, other document editing software)
- They help with adding Tables of Contents and other internal cross-referencing
More information about Styles
Learn more about why you should use Styles in your documents and 'power tips' from the following resources:
- Shauna Kelly's Making the most of Word in your business
- Intermediete user’s guide to Microsoft Word
(note: links in this document are quite old and may not work, but the summary information is still relevant)
- WebAIM: Microsoft Word
information about creating accessible documents