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How to Write a Job Description or Advertisement

In a competitive and talent short-market, well-structured job descriptions and compelling advertisements are vital to attracting high-quality professionals to your business.

Working with a specialist recruitment agency would save you valuable time and money but if you’re planning on recruiting yourself, here are a few tips on how to create job descriptions and advertisements that will attract great professionals.

Identify Who You Need to Hire

Before you start writing a job description, you need to identify who you need to hire. This will play a crucial role later when reviewing applications. Ask yourself whether you need someone with the potential to grow into your role, to hit the ground running, or to fill a crucial management position. What you will need to include in your job description will largely depend on the answer.

Creating a Job Description

The next vital step in attracting and engaging talented professionals is to have a well-structured job description. It will enable you to create an effective job advertisement and can often be what convinces the best professionals to apply. Download our Job Description Template to get a head start.

Writing a Compelling Advertisement

We talk a lot about how candidates need to ‘stand out from the crowd’ but this is also true for businesses. Experienced professionals often have more choice than ever and this has made it increasingly competitive for companies to attract great people. Your job advertisement is the first chance you have at convincing a candidate that your opportunity is the right one for them. Here’s how you can write a compelling advertisement:

Use a Familiar Job Title

The job title is what most people will see first. Whilst it needs to be eye-catching, it also needs to make sense and be searchable. For example, “Accounting Superstar” may be unique but it is unlikely to attract the right candidates if you’re looking for a Management or Financial Accountant. Whilst being overly creative with the job title can backfire, if the internal job title that is on your job description isn’t relatable or searchable, then you may want to consider adjusting it slightly for the public domain.

Answer What’s in it for the Candidate

The best job advertisements not only detail core responsibilities and requirements but also answers the question, “what’s in it for candidate?”

Three keys to selling the opportunity:

Sell the Package

Our latest Salary Report found that having a higher salary or package is still the top priority for the majority of people. Selling the package should start with highlighting a great salary and key benefits such as flexible working options or a phone allowance, but you can be creative here. For example, a car park is considered a great additional benefit – especially if you’re in Auckland!

Sell the Role

The key here is to sell the role in a way that enables the candidate to picture themselves doing it. Use action words, like provide, support or manage, when describing the role’s tasks and responsibilities to achieve this. You should also avoid exaggerating aspects of the role as candidates may be put off if they feel the vacancy is too good to be true.

Sell the Company

Finally, your advert should sell your business as being an employer of choice. Ask yourself, why you enjoy working for the company? Does your organisation make a difference to others? Do you work with exciting new technologies? Do you work for an award winning business? Ask those around you, and weave these answers into your job advertisement to help sell your company and culture to potential employees.

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