Job Description – Meaning, Definitions, Content, Advantages and Limitations

Guidelines for Preparing Job Description

According to Ernest Dale, the following guidelines should be kept in mind while writing job descriptions:

  • The JD should indicate the nature and scope of the job, including all important relationships.
  • It should be brief, factual and precise; use active verbs such as collect mail, sort out ‘mail’, ‘distribute’ mail, etc. Avoid statements of opinion. Give a dear picture of the job; explain all the duties and responsibilities of the job in greater detail.
  • More specific words be chosen to show (i) the kind of work, (ii) the degree of complexity, (iii) the degree of skill required, (iv) the extent to which problems are standardized and (v) the degree and type of accountability.
  • The extent of supervision available should also be clearly stated.
  • The reporting relationships must also be clearly indicated (e.g., who reports to whom, frequency, etc.).


  •  It is used to recruit and select employees in the organization with their orientation and placement.
  • It helps in crafting, training and development needs of a particular employee and developing career path.
  • It plays a major role in evaluating the performance of the employee and helps in taking the decision related to promotion and transfer in an organization.
  • It is an instrument to develop work procedures and processes and help of take preventive measures to minimize the impact of hazardous conditions.
  • It helps in counseling the employee and providing vocational guidance.
  • It provides the basic ingredient to prepare job specification.


  • Job description cannot provide complete details of nature of work, duties and responsibilities.
  • Many times employees experience confrontation between the actual work and work as per job description.
  • Now-a-days employees are expected to play a wider range of roles than those just stated in the job description.
  • Hence, job description is used as a guideline rather than as detailed account of duties and responsibilities.


Mode of Writing

The job analyst has to write the Job Description alter proper consultations with the worker and the supervisor. The preliminary draft about the job must be discussed in the presence of both the worker and the supervisor to uncover gaps, deficiencies, etc. The following method is suggested by an expert in this connection:

  • Firstly, get the questionnaire about the job filled in by the immediate supervisor of the employee.
  • Secondly, the job analyst must observe the actual work done by the employee and complete the job description form.
  • Thirdly, every effort must be made to involve the employee and the supervisor while finalizing the JD.
  • Finally, keep the JD up-to-date by keeping track of changing conditions and incorporating the relevant ones as and when needed.









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Job Description – Meaning, Definitions, Content, Advantages and Limitations

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