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Job description vs. job offer - what’s what?

The recruitment process explained: from reading a job description and applying for the opportunity to getting a job offer and signing a contract.
Woman looking for a job online
Article author
Written by
Aldona Milej
Published on
March 6, 2023
Last updated on
June 3, 2024

Recruitment processes differ between companies. But each recruitment process starts with reading a job description and ends with signing a contract. Before you sign the contract, you’ll receive a job offer from the recruiter or manager. However, sometimes people confuse a job description with a job offer. We will get rid of this confusion. Read this article to learn what a job offer is and why job descriptions aren’t always accurate.

What is a job offer?

When you go through the recruitment process, and the team decides that you are the best candidate, you will receive a job offer. It’s a formal invitation to work for a company. The job offer always includes the job title, location (work model), start date, and salary. But it can also include more information, like your everyday responsibilities, how much time you’ll work every week or month, the name of the company, your future manager, type of contract, etc. The amount of information depends on the company and its role.

Some people confuse a job offer with the message a recruiter sends them. We have to get this straight: a message from a recruiter is an invitation to participate in the recruitment process. A job offer is sent to the candidate who best fits the role. If you receive a message from a recruiter on LinkedIn, don’t tell your friends that you have a “job offer” because they will think you are ready to jump ship. Just mention that a recruiter contacted you with an exciting opportunity. 

What is a job description?

Just as the name suggests, a job description is a description of the responsibilities and tasks someone will carry out in a specific role. It always includes the job title and any requirements for the role, like education, skills, or years of experience. In addition to those few things, it can include information about the company, the project, and nice-to-haves, like skills that can come in handy. A job description is public and always included in the job posting on career portals.

It’s worth noting that every job description is always based on what the company needs. But the needs depend on the talent situation inside the organization. If someone leaves a company, the recruitment team has to hire someone to replace that person. The new hire will be responsible for the same tasks, and the things included in the description won’t probably change over the course of work. A different situation occurs when the company hires a “new” person to join the team. In such scenarios, the job description can be a bit “off” from the actual work the person will do. When starting a recruitment process, ask your recruiter if your responsibilities may change with time. This way, you’ll know what to prepare for.

“What will I do in this role?”

Every job description should give you a clear answer to this question. It’s the foundation of recruitment and sets expectations for candidates. If you want to check our job descriptions, visit our careers portal. Maybe you’ll find a role that interests you!

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