7 Things Never To Put In Your Job Ad

When drafting the job ad, ensure that the language is more "candidate-centric" than it is "company-centric".

One of the simplest but most important ways for a company to attract great talent and to avoid bad hires is to draft an attention-grabbing and encouraging job ad. Most jobseekers are discouraged by the extent of demanding requirements and terms that typically make up the job ad. In the process, applicants often gather very little information about the exciting and useful prospects of the job. The recruitment industry is now more candidate-driven that it has ever been before, and it is crucial for companies to fill their vacancies with the right kind of candidates. And the first step to doing that is to attract talent intelligently. Here is a list of things your job ad should steer clear of:

1. Esoteric job title: It’s important to avoid using a job title that doesn’t tell the applicant right away what the job is about. Heavily abbreviated job titles won’t work either. Not only are these less likely to show up in the applicant’s keyword search, they also won’t do much to give the candidate a clear picture of what the role is about and will consequently invite more unnecessary applications rather than the relevant ones. For example, a job title such as “Group Manager” or “Consultant” communicates nothing significant. Instead, something like “Entry-level Sales Executive” or “Experienced Digital Marketing Manager” tells the candidate what the role entails as well as how much work experience you’re looking for. The key is to be both as clear and as concise as possible.

Related: Is your Careers Page getting you enough applications?

2. Demanding tone and language: Your job ad should sound “candidate-centric” rather than “company-centric”. Be wary of using language that tells the applicant that he/she must match up to the (daunting) list of requirements. If you sound discouraging at the outset, you’re going to lose out on well-qualified candidates. The job ad need not be an unrelenting list of responsibilities that the candidate must undertake. The idea is to make sure that you sound both encouraging and enabling—you have to give the candidate a sense that you’re already standing by him/her and that he/she is valuable to you (rather than someone who is falling short on several counts). One of the best ways to do that is to replace the term “applicant” for a more hospitable “you”.

Related: 9 disruptive ideas to improve quality of hire

3. Too much information: Your job ad cannot be unnecessarily lengthy. Making use of specific sub-heads (and making a distinction between ‘preferred skills’ and ‘requisite skills’) can help cut out superfluous information. Quite like recruiters don’t spend more than an average of 6 seconds on a candidate’s CV to determine fit and suitability, applicants won’t spend too long on your job ad before they decide if it’s meant for them or not—nor will they read everything you’ve put down there. Ensure that the job ad is drafted concisely so that you convey everything that you absolutely must convey right at the outset, but everything else that can come at a later stage can wait. Listing your job with enables you to invite only pre-screened and relevant candidates to respond to your job ad.

4. Business jargon: Jargon, too, can wait (if it absolutely must be used) until the candidate eases into the role. Using technical or business terms in your job ad is an easily avoidable way of closing the door to good candidates.

Related: ‘Catch that lie’- 8 ways to screen your candidates better.

5. Tedious application process: Time and patience are two things we’re all running low on. Make the application process as easy and short as possible. Candidates are likely to lose patience with arduous processes. enables candidates to apply for jobs using their pre-screened SmartProfile™, which makes the process simpler and quicker.

6. No information on salary (and location): One of the first things that candidates tend to look for in a job ad is the salary you’re offering. If you don’t have a fixed figure in mind but are working with a range and/or are open to negotiation, make sure to mention that. It is what will determine whether or not the candidate is genuinely interested. By withholding the salary details, you’re needlessly inviting applicants who may not eventually be interested at all.

7. Missing contact details: While this is a no-brainer, it is important to put your contact details out there. Applicants often have questions and it’s important to be there to clarify if you really want to make the right choice.

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