How to write a job ad

How to write a job ad

Write job ad

Many people who work in HR and Recruitment seem to think that a job advert and a job description are somehow interchangeable – and, at the risk of coming across like a pedant, I think it’s important that we clarify their respective meanings.

In essence, a job description’s purpose is to describe, in detail, what a particular job consists of. A job advert’s purpose however, is to sell that particular job.

One informs, the other attracts.

When you’re scanning the market to possibly replace your old washing machine, do you decide which model is right for you by reading lots of User Manuals? No, of course not.

If hiring the right people is important, then writing a job advert is important.

It’s especially important if it’s for a job that is either specialised or senior. In other words, if it’s for a job where the majority of the target candidates are unlikely to be unemployed and/or in short supply.

You need to sell these types of jobs because:

  • Most of the potential candidates won’t be desperate for another job.
  • Most of the potential candidates will be open to exploring a job that might improve their situation in some way.

Most potential candidates will want to know how doing working for your company (or client) will specifically make their life more rewarding. Putting something like “you’ll get the opportunity to help us achieve our growth targets” isn’t how to do this.

What might turn them on are things such as

  • Learning/Training
  • Bigger challenge
  • Better rewards
  • More autonomy
  • Work/Life balance
  • Remote working

Or it could be one of potentially hundreds of other benefits you might be able to offer that they might not be getting from their current employer.

The easiest way to get anyone interested in anything is to let them know what’s in it for them.

And the easiest way to get someone to read your job advert right to the end is to tell them what’s in it for them as quickly as possible.

Then write it in a conversational, friendly tone. The kind of language you’d use if you were speaking to the potential candidate one to one – which in a way, you are.

If your job ad reads like it was written by a real person rather than by a compliance algorithm, they’re more likely to believe you when you say you have a “great culture”.

To find out more about how to write a job ad, click here.

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