Differences Between Specific and Generic Job Description

When looking at job ads, you'll notice how some ads are more generic while others are specific. It helps to know the difference between the two because this can determine how much research you'll have to do on the company.

  1. Generic Description

    • A generic job description will usually list the position offered and an address or fax number. The description lists basic requirements, but nothing detailed. For example, a bank teller ad may say, "Providence Bank is seeking an experienced bank teller; send your resume to 4546 Citrus Rd, Anonymous, U.S. 75674."

    Specific Description

    • A specific job description may say, "Par Excellence Advertising Agency is seeking an account executive with at least a bachelor's degree in communications and five years of experience. Must also be knowledgeable in PowerPoint presentations, Photoshop, QuickBooks and Microsoft Word."

    Advantages of Generic Description

    • One advantage of a generic job description is that it's brief and concise. This is especially good if you want to read ads that get to the point. Another advantage is that you'll know immediately who to contact without having to read extra details.

    Disadvantages of Generic Description

    • The main drawback is that because these are so brief, you don't know a lot about the company, so you'll have to do more research on the company's website or read articles about it.

    Advantages of Specific Description

    • With specific descriptions, you can learn more about not only what position is available, but also the qualifications that you need before you apply. In addition, you will often read extra information such as benefits and the nature of the job.

    Disadvantages of Specific Description

    • The main setback would be too much information in some of the specific ads. When this happens, it can be difficult to comb through and get the most important parts of the ad.

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