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How to write a job posting ad


30 September 2021 at 5:06 pm
Maggie Coggan
We chat to the experts on how you can craft a listing that will attract the best candidates There’s a whole bunch of considerations recruiters have to keep in mind when putting the feelers out


Maggie Coggan | 30 September 2021 at 5:06 pm


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How to write a job posting ad
30 September 2021 at 5:06 pm

We chat to the experts on how you can craft a listing that will attract the best candidates

There’s a whole bunch of considerations recruiters have to keep in mind when putting the feelers out for a new candidate.

Arguably the most important thing is writing a really clear, well-worded job ad that makes people excited for the position. 

So if you are feeling a bit lost when it comes to writing a job ad, you’ve come to the right place. David Lawrence-Watt, national recruitment partner at the Lizard Centre, shares his top tips on writing a killer job listing that will be sure to attract the right people. 

It’s a job ad, not a short story 

One of the biggest mistakes a recruiter can make is writing a listing that goes for pages and pages. Make sure each area of the job posting is kept short and sweet so that the potential candidate doesn’t lose interest a quarter of the way through.

“Every job should be able to be broken down into four or five main responsibilities, as opposed to listing everything that can possibly come up,” Lawrence-Watt says. 

“The place for that is with a position description.”

Cut the cliches 

How many times have you read a job ad that says the role is a “once in a lifetime opportunity”? 

While it’s very easy to fall into the trap of fluffing up your ad with a hundred cliche phrases, Lawrence-Watt says it’s best to avoid them if you can. 

“Avoid broad, meaningless phrases, and instead try to get your company’s values and benefits down to three or four main points,” he says. 

Don’t freak your candidates out 

There might be a page-long list of what your perfect candidate looks like, but in a job ad, putting an entire wish-list of skills, experiences and qualities will probably freak a candidate out and stop them from applying, particularly women. 

“Evidence shows that female candidates are more likely to not apply for a job if they don’t tick every criteria box,” Lawrence-Watt says. 

“And so even without meaning to, [by putting a long wish-list of skills] you’ve actually created a listing that’s less attractive for women to apply, and that’s not kosher.” 

Include honest salary information

Salary is always a tricky topic, but being upfront about how much you can offer a prospective employee is, whether you like it or not, an important selling point of the role. 

Lawrence-Watt says it’s also really important not to exaggerate this amount, because sooner or later the truth will come out, and you won’t be the one that looks good. 

“Being clear with the range that you’re willing to pay them is really important, because your candidate will find out that you can’t afford them,” he says.  


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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