Job Profile and how to prepare one

Job Profile and how to prepare one
Last Updated: July 3, 2022

    Whats Inside?

What is a Job Profile?

A job profile is a source document that describes the generic job content designed around common skill sets that will enable an individual to perform his/her work. A job profile is a high-level description of a task that is written in the form of an outline. It only offers general knowledge about a specific job. The job profile provides an image of an employees main job duties in a straightforward, actionable format. A job profile is attached to the required tasks for a given position, independently from the person handling the job. The intent of the job profile is primarily for internal use. During the recruiting process, a job profile is typically the starting point for discussion. The job description describes the duties and responsibilities of an employee. These are the primary goals for which you recruited the employee.



The term job profile is commonly used almost interchangeably with a job description, both the terms and the contents, however, there is a difference between a job profile and a job description. The major difference is the level of detail. A job profile allows more latitude for current goals and expectations. The job description is an overview of the requirements of the job. Although the job description outlines all of the criteria for each major responsibility region, the job profile can only include the responsibility. In a job profile, a Human Resources Director, for instance, maybe in charge of employee training and development. When in need of an easy-to-develop method for identifying the key components of their jobs, a job profile is often used rather than a job description for recruiting, posting jobs, and clear direction and parameters for employees. Whereas the job description defines all of the requirements of each key area of responsibility, the job profile might only list the responsibility. Human resources can maintain a database of job descriptions so that when new openings arise, Human Resources can easily create a comprehensive job description.


A job profile is a valuable resource. Moreover, when an employer posts job profiles for a job opening on a recruitment page, they offer a clear overview of the components of a job and what they will be looking for in an employee. The components and requirements of a job will be noted in the job posting by potential employees. The job profile provides potential employees with sufficient information to determine whether or not they are qualified for and interested in the position. This saves time and frustration for both the employer and the job seeker. Thus, a job profile helps job applicants conduct a self-evaluation to assess if they meet the benchmarks necessary for employment.


The job profile outlines the duties and responsibilities of an employee. These are the primary goals for which you recruited the employee. In a straightforward, actionable format, the job profile presents a representation of an employees key job duties.


The job profile will contain a synopsis of the:

  • Jobs key responsibilities
  • Experience needed to do the job
  • Skills essential to perform the job
  • Education and credentials required for the position
  • The physical demands of the job and the work environment in which the position will function
  • Reporting assignment, level, department or function
  • Pay range information, usually a low and a high range


How to Prepare a Job Profile


Compiling a job profile determines the tasks which make up the job and the skills, knowledge, competencies, and accountabilities required of the holder of the job for successful job performance. It begins with a job analysis, which examines the tasks that an employee might be expected to complete in their position, as well as how those tasks impact the organization as a whole. A job analysis may assist in determining the expertise, skills, and abilities that an employee needs to perform their job efficiently:

  • Knowledge- is the information that an employee requires. This could be a combination of personal knowledge and knowledge shared by a team or organization.
  • Skills- are actions that can be mastered and used to assist you to finish a task.
  • Abilities- are long-term traits or abilities that may help or hinder the completion of a task.


After the job analysis is completed, the benchmarks must be created. The job profile is versatile while also including key competencies that can assist in the selection process. If many people contributed to the job analysis, it is common to combine everyones results into a single collection of benchmarks.


The job profile is ready to go once the benchmarks have been set.


Types of Job Profiles

A job profile is a high-level description of a task that is written in the form of an outline. It only offers general knowledge about a specific job.


Generic Job Profile/Description 

The generic job descriptions set out the typical duties and selection criteria for a role. All generic job descriptions must be advertised using the up-to-date job description template. Generic job descriptions are often much easier to manage because small changes in tasks do not necessitate modifying them. They can be used to cover workers who work in various departments but do the same job. A generic job description allows for more flexibility since it focuses on goals and responsibilities rather than the specifics of how a task should be completed. Generic profiles keep workers centred on performance rather than activities as more businesses continue to develop their goods and services.


A broad, generic job description is a short passage that outlines the jobs most basic requirements. It could tell you the job title and who to contact, but thats about it. Candidates would have access to critical information. They will not be distracted by insignificant information. A broad job description with few qualifications increases the number of applicants eligible to apply, giving an employer a larger pool of candidates to choose from. However, A broad, generic job description runs the risk of not specifying enough what the position requires, attracting unqualified candidates. Broad job requirements may also leave job seekers perplexed and unable to apply for a position because they lack sufficient knowledge about the position or the organization recruiting.


The following are some consideration when preparing a Generic job profile

The job profile must be relevant and align with the business processes:

  • Generic job titles must be standardised;
  • The job purpose statement should define the reason for the existence of the job;
  • Key performance areas must be generic in nature and well defined;
  • The line manager should provide input as the owner of the job family (subject matter expert);
  • Job content should be differentiated in accordance to output, competence and pay and include all compulsory elements of the job; and
  • Competencies should be defined according to type, name, definition, level of proficiency and indicators are included in a competency management framework for the organization.


Narrow Specific Job Profile/Description

A narrow, specific job description is a detailed advertisement. It will explain the role that is on offer in great detail, including listing the positions duties and expectations. It will also list the skills, qualifications and training the selected candidate will need for the role. A specific job description will also offer information on the company that is hiring. A narrow, specific job profile spells out exactly what is expected of applicants, raising the likelihood of the right people applying. Its thoroughness ensures that applicants are fully informed about the position and the organization for which they are applying. However, a narrow, specific job description may be overly complex, causing essential details to get lost in the shuffle. An excessively specific job description can also discourage many applicants from applying because they believe they are unfit for the position, resulting in an organization with a limited pool of candidates to choose from.


This article was written by Kelin Zvomuya, a consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants, a management and Human Resources Consultants company.



Kelin Zvomuya

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