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What Is the Difference Between Job Profile & a Job Description?

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A job profile is an outline, a high-level overview of a position. It provides only general information about a particular position. In contrast, a job description is a written statement which includes the working conditions, scope, purpose, duties and responsibilities of a job along with the title of the individual to whom the position reports.

Job Profile Usage

An employer creating a new position often composes a job profile as the first step in forming the job description. A hiring manager will submit the job profile to his human resources department, which then designs a more detailed explanation of the position. This detailed explanation is the job description. The job profile is primarily for internal purposes. Human resources may keep a catalog of job profiles, so that as new openings become available, HR can quickly craft a detailed job description.

Job Description Application

Job descriptions serve as a guide for recruiting, staff planning, coaching, salary administration, performance appraisal and legal compliance. It allows a company to articulate its labor needs in detail. In contrast, a job profile is a brief outline. The job description provides a comprehensive list of the background, skills, experience, education and duties required for the position, whereas the profile is a synopsis.

Significance of Job Profiles

A job profile offers employers a starting point. It allows human resources to collaborate directly with the hiring manager to design an intricate job description. The job profile may also be a useful tool for job seekers. Individual candidates may find it helpful to examine multiple job profiles during the career planning process.

Importance of Job Descriptions

While the job profile helps employers envision their manpower needs, the description helps the hiring authority match a tangible candidate to the employment opportunity. The job seeker uses the description to determine whether he wishes to pursue the position. Job descriptions enable a business to plan its growth while sorting out work flow, tasks and accountability.


Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, Christina Archer has been writing job hunting articles since 2003. Her articles have appeared in print, on blogs, and in a variety of online publications. Archer's book, "Landing Your Dream Job in Any Economy," was published in December, 2009. Archer has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Ohio University.

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