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Job Advert Dos and Don’ts

How to write a job advert

A well-written job advert attracts candidates and entices them to apply. It’s a perfect bridge between employer and candidate and is often the first interaction a candidate will have with a company. A job advert is a chance to create a solid sales pitch to be featured on job boards, ATS careers pages, LinkedIn and other advertising platforms.

So what’s in a job advert? Well, a job advert should include the core details about the role and a brief company overview as well as what you can offer to them. State what it is you’re actually looking for but be careful not to go into too much depth as you’ll risk putting off candidates from applying. Provide them with just enough information to understand the job and let candidates evaluate for themselves whether the role is right for them.

A good job advert has the power to influence the right candidates to apply for the right roles.

With this in mind, let’s look at job advert dos and don’ts…

Help wanted job advert sign

Job advert dos

Do keep it clear

Now, this may seem very obvious but in order to attract the right talent it’s important that the job advert is clear and concise. Candidates want to read a job advert and know immediately what is expected of them. So in order to do this you’ll need to condense the job information and highlight honestly what the responsibilities are with short bullet points.

Be clear and transparent when writing the job advert to help potential applicants evaluate and align their own skills and experience with the potential job.

Do humanise the job ad

Make the job advert interesting and appealing enough for high-quality talent to want to apply. A real struggle is when the advert is filled with corporate or internal jargon that isn’t relevant to most outside candidates. Make sure the advert has some personality and keep it human to really engage with talent (this will also showcase your company’s culture).

If you can create a job advert which has a clear brand voice and reflects your company and its values then it’s more likely you will attract candidates that are the right fit for the company. This can also be really helpful if you’re more interested in recruiting for soft skills as portraying the company culture can help entice those candidates in.

Do standardise information

Recruiting on a high volume scale means lots of different job adverts and applications. To help create consistency and familiarity between job adverts it’s important to standardise any information you can. We definitely recommend standardising the company overview to build a summary of what it is you do.

With that in mind, the same can also be done for each job role. This is a little bit more tricky to standardise as each job will require different skills and responsibilities. However in some cases, if you’re recruiting for the same role more than once (perhaps in different locations) it’s important to make sure each job has the same set of job requirements. This ultimately makes it much easier in the future to review and screen applicants against the same job criteria.

Standardising job adverts is by no means an easy task but the returns of doing so are valuable as it makes screening and recruiting easier.

Creating a job advert together

Job advert don’ts

Don’t get stung by unconscious bias

Bias can creep in at any point of the recruitment process so be aware when crafting the job advert. Whilst you want to be clear about what kind of candidate you want, there are certain things you can and can’t say regarding your ideal candidate for an inclusive and fair job advert. Make sure there’s no mention of a candidate’s age, gender, race, religion or beliefs. For example, even asking for a certain amount of experience eg. “5 years of experience” can also be classed as discriminatory so you need to be careful. Why? Because this indicates that the candidate has to be of a certain age.

Don’t repost the job description

Avoid any temptation to repost the job description as the job advert. The job advert is a separate entity and its purpose differs from the job description. It needs to be compelling and exciting as well as be something that is easy to read and understand so candidates can interpret what kind of role it is and the benefits included.

Remember a job advert is NOT the same as a job description! A job description is a much more detailed in-depth document and is only shared internally as well as with potential candidates later down the hiring line. We’ve written this article how to write the perfect job description to help avoid any job description and job ad confusion.

Don’t overdo it in the skills ‘must haves’

Many employers fall into the trap of creating a long list of candidate must-have skills in order to be successful for the role. But how many are TOO many? Well, anything over ten in a job advert is a little overboard. You risk scaring away even the most qualified talent if the role expectations seem out of reach.

The same also applies to having too many desirable skills. Whilst requesting these ‘nice to haves’ may not put off every candidate from applying, listing too many can be difficult to interpret what’s necessary for the role and what isn’t. This makes the decision to apply difficult for the candidate and makes it more complicated when it comes to the screening for recruiters and hiring managers.

Be clear about what is absolutely required and set a minimum requirement for each role as well as what is desirable/nice to have to help an applicant easily decide whether their expertise fits.

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