Difference Between Job Description and Job Specification

5 minute read
Difference Between Job Description and Job Specification

Whether it is the placement season or you are planning to switch jobs,  a resume plays an important part in landing you a job. The resume is a reflection of your career aspirations as well as your achievements so far. However, one basic aspect of the resume that confuses many is the difference between job description and job specification. Although both terms may seem similar, there is a big difference between the two. To understand the difference, let us first understand the individual meanings of the two terms.

What is Job Description?

Job description, in simple terms, means specifying the particulars of a job profile and the responsibilities that come along with that designation. This also includes the different terms and conditions related to the job. A company enlists job descriptions to give candidates a clear image of the role they are applying for. You can also enlist the job description in your resume or application letter to make it clear to the recruiters the tasks and responsibilities that you are trained for. A job description is extremely important to create clarity around the expectations of both the company and the candidate. The contents of the job description include: 

  • Job Summary
  • Job Title 
  • Responsibilities and Duties Associated with the Job
  • Location of the Job 
  • Nature of Supervision
  • Working Conditions of the Job 

Advantages of Job Description for the Company and Jobseekers

There are several benefits of the job description for the company as well as the job seekers and some of these are as follows:

For the Company

  • Job description simplifies the whole recruitment process by aligning it with the factors imperative for the selection of candidates thus reducing the workload of the human resource department.
  • It plays a foundational role in formulating job specifications and thus is different from the content mentioned in the same.
  • It helps the company find the best suitable candidates as they have the major skills and qualifications mentioned in the job description.

For the Jobseekers

  • For jobseekers, the job description describes the company in a nutshell and the opportunities it has on offer for them.
  • It provides a specific overview of the job role as well as what is expected from the right candidate.
  • It also familiarises the candidates with the general workplace environment of the company.

Disadvantages of Job Description

  • A job description does not remain static; it evolves as the firm grows.
  • It solely highlights the good aspects of a job. The disadvantages are entirely overlooked.

What is Job Specification?

Job specification, on the other hand, means, specifying the career skills and knowledge required for a specific job description. Job specification essentially conveys the kind of educational background and experience you need for that specific job role. This is mostly used by recruiters to screen candidates and to select the most suitable candidates for the job. Job specifications may also outline the personal characteristics required on your behalf to be considered suitable for that profile. The contents of a job specification include: 

  • Mental Attributes of the Eligible Candidate
  • Physical Attributes Required by the Candidate
  • Behavioral and Personal Characteristics of the Candidate 
  • Social abilities of the Candidate

Advantages of Job Specification

By providing job specifications and job descriptions for the open profiles, the human resource team of an organization can efficiently save time by answering every call and explaining the job profile again and again. Here are the major advantages of adding job specifications for open job roles in a company.

  • It effectively saves the recruitment team’s time as it simply and concisely mentions the key requirements for a job role.
  • It plays the role of a foundational benchmark set by the human resource manager to mention all the training and orientation requirements.
  • It works as a precise overview of the job description.
  • By aligning skills and qualifications with the profile of candidates, it helps them in finding the best possible opportunities available.
  • It formulates the essential basis for performance analysis and appraisal for the employees.

Disadvantages of Job Specification

  • The company’s job criteria for a certain position may alter as technology advances.
  • Writing a job definition is a time-consuming procedure that necessitates a thorough grasp and expertise of the role.

Difference Between Job Description and Job Specification

Here is a look at the difference between job description and job specification in a tabular form to make it more comprehensible:

Measuring Criteria Job Description Job Specification
Measures Measures the responsibilities and tasks of the job profile. Measures the hard and soft skills along with domain-specific knowledge of the candidate.
Content It entails the summary, the job title, the working environment, duties to be performed, location, etc.  It entails work experience, educational qualifications, training experience, personal abilities, etc.   
Benefit This statement helps in avoiding confusion among the workers about their duties. This statement helps the management take decisions about the growth of each individual in the company.
Usefulness This statement helps the management evaluate individual workers and list out the specific training necessities. This statement helps the candidate in self-analyzing whether they are eligible for the job role.

What do they contain? 

Job description: Typically includes general employment information such as the title, location, description, tasks, working circumstances, and who the individual would report to.

Job specification: The educational credentials, training, experience, abilities, and competencies, among other things, that someone would require to execute the job are listed.

What do they measure? 

Job description: This simply assesses the duties and responsibilities associated with this position.

Job specification: This describes what the person must be able to achieve to be successful in this position.

How are they useful? 

Job description: This sort of data may be used to create a pool of candidates, choose persons to interview, identify and schedule training, and finally assess performance.

Job specification: This aids any potential employee in evaluating their qualifications for the position. The Job Spec will also give more information on the position, allowing recruiters to use it as a checklist while setting up and conducting interviews.

These differences play a huge role in the compilation of your resume. A resume plays an important part in directing your career trajectory but it is natural to feel confused about what to include and what to omit to build a strong profile. Let the experts at Leverage Edu guide you in building a strong profile that will assist you in soaring towards your dream career.  

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