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I am an assistant of ABC cake shop.
Here is some information about my position on a job leaflet:

— Age: over 17
— Clean tables
— Buy food
— Take orders

One of my senior workers called this a job description other than job duties, and it made me confused.

If my friends ask me what I do in the shop everyday, I will tell them, "I need to clean all shop tables, help the master chef buy the food he wants, note down customers' orders."

Can you tell me the difference between job duties and job description?

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There's room for flexibility here, but job duties sounds like a list of duties that come with the job. It's a list of what the employee is expected to do:

  • Clean tables
  • Buy food
  • Take orders

On the other hand, job description sounds more like a description of the job, which would include the job duties, but often goes beyond the duties; for example:

  • Must be at least 17 years old
  • Must be willing to work until 10PM on weekends
  • Must have a valid driver's license

(These aren't duties, because they aren't things that the employee would do.)

So, job duties are part of a job description, but job descriptions often include both duties and qualifications. Like I said, though, there is plenty of wiggle room. For example, I've also heard position description used in place of job description.

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  • Qualification for job is included in Job Specification. But since you said, "...but job descriptions often include..." so, you know :)
    – Usernew
    Dec 9 '15 at 15:58
  • 1
    @Usernew - Yes, I said often – much like your answer says generally.
    – J.R.
    Dec 9 '15 at 16:23
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Job Description (JD):

Job Description is a statement which lists duties & responsibilities required to perform a particular job. In short, It expresses what a prospective employee must do when he will get the placement.1

A typical JD includes the following:

  • Designation
  • Place of work
  • Scope
  • Salary range
  • Working hours
  • Responsibilities
  • Job Duties

Job Specification:

A Job Specification, on the other hand, is a statement which tells us minimum acceptable human qualities which helps to perform a job. In short, It expresses what an applicant must possess for getting selected.1

Typically, it Includes the following:

  • Qualification
  • Skills
  • Training
  • Experience
  • Work Orientation (Day Shift or Night Shift or both)

Job Duties:

Job duties are tasks you must do on a job. They are the responsibilities you have for a particular job. A job description lists the duties you will do for your job.

For example:

  • An auto mechanic would repair and paint cars.
  • A file clerk would file forms, answer the telephones, and sort mail.
  • A bookkeeper would prepare bills, keep books, and type bills.

The list of activities you are required to perform for any occupation are the job duties.2


1. Keydifferences

2. a4es

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Job description refers to the various tasks that make up the job itself. Job duties are the activities or things one must perform or do to accomplish the job perfectly. Example: taking orders from customers, opening door for customers (job description); must put on a sincere smile when receiving customers or taking orders, providing information to customers (job duties)

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