5 Ways You’re Ruining Your Job Ad

Man in blindfold using a bow and arrow and missing target

Job ads are often the first impression jobseekers will have of your company. Unfortunately, many employers treat job ads as an afterthought. They copy and paste their job descriptions (yes, there’s a difference between jobs descriptions and job ads; more on this below) onto online job boards, hit submit, and call it a day.

But just as you expect a job candidate to sell themselves to you, you too should be selling your company to job applicants—and your job ad is the perfect place to do this.

A well-written job ad should do several key things. It should:

  • Screen out unqualified job candidates
  • Entice (without overwhelming) interested job candidates to apply
  • Differentiate your company from your competitors

Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when posting a job ad online.

1. Using your job description as a job ad

First things first: job descriptions are not job ads. While they are important, job descriptions—internal compliance documents that cover the line-by-line details of a job—are often long and quite frankly, boring to read.

You can use a job description as a reference point, but your job ad should be short, compelling, and get the jobseeker excited about the thought of working at your company.

2. Including company specific jargon

This applies to everything from company specific job titles to internal processes and acronyms. Including too much company jargon could force otherwise qualified candidates to screen themselves out simply because they can’t comprehend the core duties of the position.

As much as possible, use more conventional job titles and descriptions, if only for job ad purposes. It offers transparency plus it helps jobseekers find you more easily through online keyword searches.

For example, let’s say you’re hiring for a “Front Line Customer Support Facilitator Level II.” Essentially, this position provides general customer service support, so you might consider listing the job ad by a more widely used job title like “Customer Service Representative” or “Customer Support Clerk.”

3. Leaving out salary and benefit information

The competition for talent is fierce, so it’s understandable why employers are hesitant to list pay and benefits in their job ads. At the same time, pay transparency is a growing workplace trend that employers cannot ignore (ex: Hawaii salary history ban). This is especially true when it comes to job ads.

When asked what top factors they considered in a job ad, 67% of jobseekers said salary, 63% said benefits, 59% said location, 43% said commute time, and 32% said employee reviews in a 2018 Glassdoor Salary and Benefits Survey.

Infographic of the Top Factors Jobseekers Consider in Job Ads

4. Treating your job ad as an be-all, end-all checklist

You want the best for your team. There’s no fault in that. But employers often get carried away when writing job ads. They start by listing what they need but then throw in nice-to-have qualifications and even the straight up unrealistic ones too. You know that accountant with 10 years of experience that is proficient in marketing, speaks three languages, and plays the ukulele.

Your job ad should screen out unqualified candidates, but it should not screen out everyone. If you can’t think of a real person who possess all those qualifications, they probably don’t exist. Consider scaling back your list of job requirements and focus on the minimum acceptable qualifications of the role instead.

5. Failing to include an easy way to apply

Technology has transformed the way people search for jobs. People can browse jobs any time of the day, submit their resumes with a click of a button, and even apply directly from their social media apps. If your job ad doesn’t provide jobseekers with an easy way to apply, they’ll swipe right for the next opportunity, literally.

Crafting the perfect job ad takes time and sometimes years of experience. Here at ALTRES Staffing, we write hundreds of job ads for our clients with the goal of finding them the right candidates for their open position. If you need help filling gaps in your workforce, contact us today!