As a candidate when looking for a job, have you found yourself confused when the job profile mentioned on a job portal is not clear?

Sometimes the person from HR team tends to put out confusing info about the job description and job specification, leading to an unclear picture.

Job Description and Job Specification

Job hunting is a task in itself, if there is incorrect information on which the candidate has applied, it is the waste of time and energy for the candidate as well as the HR team.

Understanding the clear difference between job description and job specification is most important for a candidate who is going for an interview.

Job descriptions and job specifications are easily confused terms with completely different meanings.

What is Job Description?

The job description explains and provides a general overview of the job. In other words, it talks about the nature of the job and the expectation required from the candidate, on a day to day basis.

It is a simple overview of the work as per the department, and how the candidate will be able to fit in it, to complete the picture.

After analyzing the job role with a clear understanding of its requirements only, a job description is formulated.

The job description is derived from the fact that in the first place, analysis of the job role is seen, including the deliverables that will be needed to fulfill that job.

Components of Job Description:

A proper job description must comprise of the list of contents which are as follows

  • Job title
  • Job location
  • Summary of the job
  • Roles and responsibilities of the job
  • Equipment and tools used while working
  • Supervision nature
  • Working environment of the job
  • Issues related to jobs

Example of a Job Description:

If you want to write an effective job description here is a good example to look.

  • Job title: Marketing manager
  • Location of the job: The relevant city where the job role is located.
  • A brief description of the job: Will explain the requirements to be fulfilled by the candidate.

What is Job Specification?

A job specification is a precise information and requirement for a job role. It is derived from the further analysis of a job description.

It mentions about the eligibility criteria of the job role, for example, qualifications, age limit, previous experiences, etc.

Job specification gives a deeper analysis required by the company related to the job role, while a candidate can also review their own eligibility criteria to be able to fit into the desired role.

Components of Job Specification:

An effective job specification must comprise of the list of contents which are as follows

  • Social skills of the candidate
  • Emotional abilities of the candidate
  • Behavioral traits required
  • Personal qualities of the candidate
  • Mental characteristics of the candidate
  • Physical features required

Example of a Job Specification:

Once you have analyzed the job description, then it is time to go into the specification for that job role.

  • Qualification: A graduate or master’s degree in marketing.
  • Experience: 10+ years of experience in the field of marketing
  • A few points related to the skills and knowledge are also shared here, software or technical skills.

Comparison Table: 

Difference between Job Description and Job specification
Differentiation Base Job Description Job Specification
Definition Describes about the job responsibilities, duties, functions etc Describes about the experience, skills, qualifications etc required
Contents Specific roles, job summary, tools and equipments, work environment etc Skills, traits and abilities
Origination From job analysis From job description
Importance Provide job details which helps in performance evalutaion Helps the candidate to assess their eligibility
Reason Providing clear job explanation Providing detailed requirements for the job role
Advantage Scheduling roles and duties without overlapping Aid in offering bonuses, promotions, rewards etc

Benefits of Writing Job Description:

A few of the benefits of writing the job description clearly on the job portal are discussed below.

  • It gives a clear understanding of the type of candidate a company may require to fill a certain position.
  • Candidates get a clearer picture of the company’s requirements.
  • Gives an insight of the workplace and other factors related to the job role.

Benefits of Writing Job Specification:

Below are few of the important aspects of mentioning the job specification:

  • Develops are the deeper understanding of the job role and its requirements, and how it will lead to the growth of an organization.
  • The defined skills create a common platform for a company and a candidate to meet at an agreed point.
  • Explains the technical knowledge needed and required.
  • Whether you are the employer writing the job description or specification or the candidate looking for a job. A clear communication makes the work easy for both.

Even for the candidate, before going for a job interview understand the difference well as it will save them from an embarrassing situation.