There is often confusion about the difference between the two terms. Each is important in the hiring process. A job description outlines what an employee is expected to achieve on a day-to-day basis and often includes metrics for success. A job advertisement is meant to entice prospective employees into applying for the role. 

Most job adverts include a job description. When assessing your business’ hiring process, it is vital to consider the content of the job adverts seen by potential applicants. Job adverts reflect the company and should be treated as such. Some hiring managers may think that simply sending out the job description as the job advert is fine, but it isn’t. Read on for an exploration into the main differences. 



A job description does serve an important purpose. It lists in detail what the job role entails. It is meant to inform. However, the inclusion of tiny details is unlikely to make a vacancy more appealing to candidates. A job advert should sell the role and entice applicants, including a broader range of detail than simply sending out the job description. 

What should be included?

What information is key? The full job description is more important in the progression of applications than it is in the job advert. The description has more use through the interview process; it provides more talking points for the interview and is more relevant when the applicants have more chance of securing the role. At that stage, the job description given to interviewees should be wholly comprehensive and list all reasonable responsibilities, duties, and expectations for the position. A job description is something that an employee should be able to refer back to for the duration of their time in a role. The information in it should not really expire; it may expand as time goes on, but that’s it.

A job advert should include more information than simply the description. When including a job description in the advert, you should scale it back to three or four of the most important duties and responsibilities. This saves space for the other essential aspects of the advert. A job advert should also feature sections on the company, the pay, and benefits. You are selling the job; why would employees want to work for your company? Refer to the goals and objectives of the company, touch on values and company culture. Stress the other aspects of the job, be that job security or benefits like paid holidays or flexible working, or maybe your company hosts social events to foster an inclusive environment?

The job description covers your expectations for an employee; the job advert should cover what they can expect from you. Some people simply do not have the time to construct quality job advertisement, and they choose to outsource. Hiring People is a company that specialises in all aspects of job advertising providing useful templates to make the process easier.


In the construction of a job advert, it is crucial to keep things simple and concise. An advert needs to draw people in quickly and keep their attention throughout; there is no place for essays. Proofread and edit and cut out the unnecessary fluff. Paring things back for a job advert, especially the role title, can make it easier for candidates searching online.

A job description should include more detail. If you so choose, you can also include any necessary jargon and acronyms that a successful candidate will often encounter in the role, although it is advisable to explain them. 


It is important to remember that your audience is a person. All too often, job adverts can feel cold and impersonal. Always address your audience in the second person; it puts them at ease. Use a warm, human tone of voice in your ads to attract the best talent. Encourage applicants to get in touch if they have questions. This helps the ad’s appeal; it makes your company come across as a nice place to work. 

Tone matters less in the job description as it is more of a list of expectations, but you should still endeavour to come across well. A job description doesn’t create the first impression for candidates, but if you aren’t careful, it can be the thing that makes them want to halt the process.

In Conclusion

Having read the above, the differences should be apparent. Step back and evaluate your recruitment processes; you can’t simply copy the job description and expect your advert to be effective. They may contain similar information, but the structures are totally different. You should be looking to attract candidates as you would customers. If you utilise job adverts and job descriptions correctly, you will soon find that you are recruiting candidates who can complete all tasks laid out in your job description.