What to include in a job ad

Orla Hodnett
Orla Hodnett

Job ads can be challenging to write. Here’s a few tips on what to include in a job ad to make that task a whole lot easier.

What should a job ad tell your candidates? A job ad should quickly inform and provoke the reader to action, while encompassing all aspects of the role. Writing a job ad can be challenging, so what do you really need to include? Here are a few features you might want to incorporate in your next job ad: 

A poor culture match can be expensive

Explain your culture

A poor culture match can be expensive. It can result in poor retention rates and mean that you have to go back to the recruiting drawing board. By being upfront about what you want to achieve as a company and how you want to achieve it will help candidates understand what you are looking for.

By including a brief paragraph about your company’s culture in a job ad, you will encourage candidates to ask the right questions of themselves and in turn you will get suitable applicants.

Challenges and rewards

A good job ad will act as a call to action for potential applicants. You need to appeal to what motivates them and what drives their creativity. By placing the challenge at hand in front of them and making it too appealing to pass up you will elicit a response.

If you place the promise of a challenge in front of them, you can also indicate the reward. Let any potential applicants know what your organisation can offer them for their hard work. Benefits and rewards are at the forefront of any candidate’s mind.

Make a distinction between what’s a must have and what’s a nice to have

An excessively list of skills or requirements may be very off-putting for candidates. If candidates feel that they don’t meet every bit of criteria, they may not apply. Think carefully about what you really need.

You will have a definite set of core requirements that should feature, but anything else should be left out or included as a nice-to-have. This makes it so much easier to understand what is required for the role.

Making a good first impression will help you make an immediate impact

A strong intro

Job ads can often be very similar. While there’s some advantage to a predictable, easy to read structure, anything that sets you apart from the competition is a definite plus. Making a good first impression will help you make an immediate impact.

Being able to succinctly explain the role, your organisation, and what you are looking for is at the core of a good job ad.

Typical tasks

Closely related to required skills is typical tasks. Again, to get suitable candidates or applications you have to make the requirements of the role clearly understood. Typical tasks give a clear insight of how your company works and what would be expected of the successful candidate.

Including this helps to reduce applications from unsuitable candidates and overall effort to hire. Minimising any risk of confusion or misunderstanding is for the benefit of both candidate and recruiter.

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