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The definitive guide to writing a great job ad

Ensure you stand out and attract the right candidates

January 17, 2022

The most crucial factor in creating any effective content is about one vital rule: know your audience.


When writing a job add you need to think of it as much more than just a job description. Done well, it’s a carefully curated message that sells the benefits of being involved with your company and lets potential applicants know what’s in it for them - and what you expect them to deliver. Thoughtful potential applicants will press their own eject button if they feel they don’t connect to your role, leaving you with the ones who truly believe they have something to offer - and believe you have something valuable to offer them.

Narrowing the applicants down at this early stage is far from a bad thing. By clarifying the key aspects of what life with your company will be like and the journey you hope to take together, you can attract the attention of the right calibre of candidate who might be just what your company needs.

To design an effective job ad that attracts great talent to your company, try these 5 tips:

1. Be specific

By detailing specifics, you enable potential candidates to self-select and compare your demands with their own skillset. Discouraging less qualified people from applying saves time in the recruitment process and leaves you with the cream of the crop who do match what you need. Make sure the job headline/title uses words that are commonly understood - and don’t be misleading. By using the most obvious job title, you maximise your ability to be found in online searches, putting more eyes on your job ad.

Mentioning other specifics, such as unique benefits and perks (free on-site parking or proximity to public transport, or the provision of a team lunch each Friday) will also help grab the attention of readers. Although the old-school thinking of some companies is to avoid listing salary details, providing a salary band is a necessary alternative and one that motivates applicants to invest their time in an application.

2. Don’t exaggerate

If your job ad makes your job sound too good to be true, you run the risk of attracting applicants who are unrealistic non-performers. Using phrases such as ‘job of a lifetime’ don’t need to be bandied about when trying to fill a role for office manager in an accounting firm. Keeping it simple and remember genuine is always the answer.

3. Showcase challenges, rather than rewards

Your best quality employee is someone with drive and ambition - not someone looking for an easy ride. Today’s top talent appreciate benefits but also welcome challenges and by creating a job ad that gives them the feeling they can make a difference and find solutions that help overcome problems, you have a better chance of attracting the type of candidate who will add value to your business and take pride in being there.

4. Show them who you are

Describing your company is important, but don’t go into too much detail. Any quality employee will do their own due diligence to find out exactly what your company does. The important thing for you to convey is information about the role on offer, while also offering an outline of the brand values and philosophy that connects people to your company vision in an engaging, interesting way.

5. Back it up with quality support material

Now you have their attention... it’s time to refine things. A detailed job description should outline key skills, core competencies and information about the most relevant measures of success you need to see. This step helps eliminate time-wasters to hone your applicant list and improve your chances of attracting only the best possible candidates.

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