Job Ads Written for Humans

Gina Deveney
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If you're responsible for writing job advertisements, you must treat each one as an opportunity to market your organization to high-quality applicants. Instead of writing a job advertisement that focuses on duties and required skills, write an ad that makes people excited about the prospect of working for your company. Follow these tips to write a job advertisement that captures the attention of talented applicants.

The best way to attract great applicants is to write a job advertisement with a human voice. This type of advertisement must begin with a hook, or a piece of information that captures attention and convinces people to read the ad in its entirety. Your hook should explain why your company needs to fill the position or why a talented applicant would find the position interesting. This gives readers some context so they can decide if they want to learn more about the opportunity.

Once your job advertisement has an attention-getting hook, you need to provide a description of the role. Many employers make the mistake of writing a long list of duties or required qualifications, but your description should tell a story. In addition to listing some of the essential functions of the job, explain how all of those functions fit together. Your description should help job seekers determine if the position is suitable for someone with a year or two of experience or if it requires five or more years working in the industry.

If a job offers the opportunity to advance to a management role, be sure to mention this in the job advertisement. Some people don't want to be managers, so telling them ahead of time that the position might evolve in the future is a good way to weed out people who wouldn't be happy managing a critical function. This can also help keep your payroll expenses under control. If the person you hire refuses to move into a management role a year or two down the line, you'll have to hire a manager, increasing the amount of money you spend on a particular function.

Many employers make the mistake of failing to include a salary range in their advertisements. Including this information helps eliminate some applicants from the pool, saving you time during the hiring process. If you list the salary range as $50,000 to $58,000, applicants who can't accept a salary lower than $60,000 will know not to apply for this job. If you don't include pay information, you might spend several hours interviewing applicants and checking references, only to find out they won't accept your offer due to concerns about compensation.

Writing job advertisements is one of the most critical tasks performed by HR professionals. If you are responsible for writing ads for your company, make sure they appeal to human readers. Instead of writing a bulleted list of duties for every job advertisement, write one with an attention-getting hook and a detailed description of the role.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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