Writing a Winning Job Advertisement

There is a reason that we so often hear that good help is hard to find. Recruiting the right candidate to fill a job opening can be one of the most challenging tasks an employer faces. One common obstacle to successful recruiting can be a poorly targeted job advertisement, and following the simple steps below can help to ensure that your ad will appeal to the best and the brightest in your field.

  • Illustrate the benefits of employment with your company

Whatever field you work in, you must have certain benefits that are relevant to the recruitment process. Whether you offer flexibility, job security, opportunities for swift advancement or safety nets like life and income protection insurance, the best recruits will be looking for those perks when they scan your advertisement.

  • Detail specific features of the ideal candidate for the job


Not every applicant will be your ideal candidate, but if you don’t inform job hunters of required training, certification, or experience, you will have a much higher stack of resumes to go through, many of which won’t meet your minimum requirements. Another reason to consider this is the fact that most veteran workers want to avoid taking a step backwards in their careers. If your ad looks as though it is recruiting for an entry level position, they may not even consider it.


  • Include an honest description of the actual duties of the position

Do you require an employee who can lift over 100lbs? Will the successful applicant be trained on industry-specific software? What will their day to day activities look like? In a job market that has become more and more predatory, potential employees may be on the lookout for scams disguised as opportunities.


‘Multi-level corporations,’ more commonly known as pyramid schemes, are quite adept at advertising for positions that sound like cut and dry customer service or sales, while in reality they’ll require substantial initial investments and bringing in family and friends for high-pressure sales situations. With a clear description you can ensure that your applicants know what they’re getting into when they turn in their resume.


  • Emphasize your company culture and values

As a business owner you have cultivated a set of values and a company culture that your employees should fit into. Are you a cutting edge tech company? Are you a small business that is engaged in the community? Whatever your company culture looks like, your advertisements should express that, and ideally that will lure in applicants who are well-suited to the work environment you’ve created.


  • Focus on the work and their qualifications, not personality traits


Advertising for an ‘outgoing team-player’ or a ‘creative problem solver’ may seem like the best way to get those recruits in the door, but those terms or terms like them appear in almost every job advertisement, and are largely just seen as filler. The other danger is that applicants are likely to behave in those ways or claim to possess those qualities, even if that isn’t an accurate representation of their personality. Recruit for the job and get a feel for the person during the interview. You may find that an introvert will be the best fit anyway.

The most important thing is to be honest in your advertisement. Trying to dress up a warehouse job as some kind of ‘supply chain management opportunity’ is a great way to miss out on the best warehouse workers in exchange for a pile of resumes from paper-pushers, and dishonest ads will lead to hiring mistakes. And don’t forget to include the application process!

Author Info:

Arlene Chandler is a freelance writer who currently writes for Suncorp, providers of income protection insurance in Australia.