Writing a job advert

In a tight labour market as the one we are in, we need to find different ways of attracting new talent to our organisation. The competition is fierce, and we are all struggling to receive enough good applications to be able to short list from.

Your job advert is the first impression a candidate is going to get about your company. It is irrelevant whether it is posted on a social media platform, website or a newspaper. It is your initial contact with a potential job applicant, therefore needs to give a good first impression.

A potential job applicant is probably sieving through many job openings and companies so you need to make sure that they can easily identify yours amongst the many others.

So how can you make sure that you are appealing to the best job seekers?

The job title

Your job title is the first that will draw the attention of the job seeker. If your company is using the latest savvy job titles, it would be best to stick to the traditional ones for the job advert. This is because the job seeker is more accustomed to the traditional job titles. It is also important because while conducting a search, search engine optimization (SEO) will unlikely catch non-standard job titles. One point to mention here is also to ensure that the job advert is posted on mobile-friendly websites.

The company’s culture

In this day and age, candidates are expecting you to sell to them, and not the other way round. You need to show them what’s in it for them if they are chosen to work for you.

Give information about your company that applicants would be interested in knowing. Give information on how long you’ve been in operation, who your big clients are, what awards or accreditations you’ve got. If possible, give data on your staff turnover rates.

The content

What’s the job all about? Firstly, it is important to distinguish between a job description and a job advert. A job description is not to be copied and pasted on a job advert. A job description is used for internal purposes. Your job advert is purely a marketing tool and it should just give a realistic picture of what the employee would be expected to do and what it would be like to work for the company.

Avoid using jargon and clichés. Also avoid using industry acronyms. Job candidates will skim through the first paragraph of the job advert and will mostly look at what is required. Make it simple and straight-forward.

  • What type of candidate are you expecting?
  • What are you expecting out of them in terms of job responsibilities and duties?
  • What are they to expect out of you and their employment experience with you?

The process for applying should be easy and clearly written. Many companies are expecting candidates to fill in online forms, upload documents and so on. This is only disheartening potential good candidates for applying.

Check your advert once, twice and thrice!

Proofreading is crucial to make a good first impression. There is much to be said about a company whose advert has typos or sentences which are grammatically incorrect. It can harm your company’s reputation. Make sure to write your job advert in a gender-neutral manner too.

Have others read your job advert as it is possible that you will not notice your own mistakes. As mentioned earlier, it is a marketing tool and should not be published with any errors.

About the author

Maria Bartolo Zahra is Managing Director and HR Advisor at SurgeAdvisory. She has over fifteen years of human resources and business advisory experience.