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How to Create the Perfect Job Advertisement

By on 11/24/2011

By writing the job description and candidate requirements first, you’ve saved a lot of time on writing the job advertisement itself. It’s not quite as simple as copy and paste, however. You’ve also got to come up with a great headline, description of your company and a few other pieces of information.

The Job Description
The first part of the job advertisement should be the actual job description. This is the information most candidates want to read first, so it should be front and center. Your job description should be around 100 words. If it’s longer, try to narrow it down to just the primary duties and responsibilities of the job. If it’s shorter – which it shouldn’t be – flesh out the responsibilities to supply more details or include more daily tasks.
Candidate Requirements and Preferences
Next, you’ll want to include the candidate requirements and preferences. Make sure you clearly state which abilities or skills are absolutely necessary and which are only preferred. Doing so will save both you and your applicants a lot of time. If your requirements and preferences lists are peppered with personality traits, take those out. Candidates may read these and try to “perform” in interviews to convey the personality you’re looking for. It’s better to remove them and let a candidate’s natural personality shine through.
The Candidate Response
The last essential part of the job advertisement is the candidate response. You need to let candidates know how they can apply for the job and what they need to show you (application, resume, portfolio, etc.). Consider including a way for candidates to contact your business for more information or questions. For job advertisements with set deadlines, include the cutoff date here. If you already know you won’t send out rejection notices or letters, you should also state here that only successful candidates will receive replies.

All of this information has given your job advertisement a solid foundation. Now it’s time to spice it up a bit.

Even if your company is well-known, you should include some information about your business. You don’t have to write a lot of details, since the candidate should be expected to do some research on his or her own. Instead, provide some interesting highlights. You can cover this at the bottom of the listing as an “about us” or “who we are” if you want to give the candidate more than one or two sentences about your organization. If you’re hiring anonymously, try to include at least a sentence that generally describes your company so the candidate can get a feel for culture match. For example, “We’re an established software company with a relaxed vibe, looking to hire a receptionist for our New York office.”

Your job advertisement doesn’t have to read like a bestselling novel, but it shouldn’t be boring either. Remember: It’s an advertisement and you want to attract attention. If your job description reads like a checklist, try to rework it. Consider writing it as if it were an employee describing a typical day. Add in adjectives or adverbs to give it more life.

The headline is the last step in writing a job advertisement. Your headline should always include the job title. Job seekers often receive alerts for certain job titles, so including this get their attention. If the title is vague, incorporate the main job duty in the headline – or, better yet, reconsider the job title. Unless you’re posting to a local job board, you also must include the location in the headline.

If your company has name recognition and you’re not hiring anonymously, use the name in the headline to attract attention. On the other hand, if you’re hiring anonymously or you’re not a well-known company, consider including your industry in the title, but only if there’s enough space to do so. The job title and location should take precedence.

Hiring and Performance