Writing A Great Job Ad (Not A Job Description)

A lot of times when I am first working with a client and I ask for copies of their past job ads, they give me a job description. While a well thought out job description is vital to hiring in many ways, it is not interchangeable with a job ad.


Job ads are supposed to be compelling and enticing. Have you ever seen an ad and then had to buy the product? With a well-crafted job ad, you want a candidate to read it and have to apply.

So let's talk about how you go about creating one.

What Is A Job Ad

If you’ve ever written any marketing copy, writing a compelling job ad shouldn’t be a stretch. It’s the same kind of writing with many of the same goals. Here is a list of what a job ad should do:

  • A job ad appeals to a specific target market – qualified candidates
  • It makes those outside your target audience simply pass it by
  • A job ad should be attention grabbing
  • It should have a clear call to action

What Should Be Included

A great job ad tells and sells about both your company and the role. First, you'll tell about the company and role and then sell the company and roll. So information and then razzle-dazzle if you like.

I'd start with the tell about the company first. Here is an example: DEF company has been in the siding business for 30 years. We specialize in selling siding to builders, contractors, and 2-step distributors.

Now for the sell: We're a family owned business who believes we succeed when our employees succeed. We’ve earned recognition from numerous industry publications for our positive work environment and competitive compensation.

Next, tell and sell about the role. Namely, tell them what you’re looking for in an employee, including experience, skills, and education. Then the sell – talk about what success they will be expected to reach and the benefits of the role.

They can be in the same paragraph or separated: We are seeking a siding expert with 5 years experience selling to builders and contractors. The successful candidate will manage a $1MM territory and drive 5% expected growth year over year. You'll manage a team of 3 and have potential to move to a National Sales Manager role in the future.

Tips For Writing A Killer Job Ad

A job ad is supposed to excite people, so if you read it and are falling asleep, you missed your mark. Here are a few tips to help you write better job ads:

  • Make it easy to read with bullet points
  • Write it so the right candidates can see themselves in the role
  • List the perks of both your company & the position
  • Keep it brief – a job ad should be less than a page in length
  • Make the requirements clear so unqualified candidates opt-out
  • Include an easy to follow, compelling call to action

What To Leave Out

A job ad should be short and sweet. You want it to elicit one response: submitting a resume or filling out an application. Don't stuff it with every bit of information about the company or role.

I would think before I included salary. If someone sees your range is on the lower side, they might opt-out. If you had wiggle room or options, you could miss out on great candidates applying.

A huge, laundry list of “requirements” is off-putting. Certainly, if you have something a candidate must possess, include it but be brief.

Confusing or multiple calls to action. A simple “If you can see yourself succeeding in this role, submit a resume at this link” is a great route.

Make Applying Easy

A soapbox moment about your application process: Don’t make people re-enter all the information from their resume! Invest in a system to pull out the information and import it elsewhere if you need to.

Go through the application process and see how long it takes. If it's more than 5 minutes, you’re going to lose out on qualified applicants. No one wants to fight with a poorly working system or duplicate their resume.

Put on your marketing hat when you are writing a job ad. Make it compelling and interesting to the right candidates. The better you are at writing a job ad, the better the field of candidates you'll attract!



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