Best Practices for Better Job Ads

To get the best performance from your job campaign, you need to interest relevant job seekers enough to click on the search results snippet to see full details. They then need to find the job interesting enough to apply.

Post based on your audience

We recommend that you think like a marketer and write an ad, not simply a job description. The job ad is your product, and the reader of the job ad is your potential customer. Gain the reader’s attention, stimulate their interest and desire, and entice them to action – to submit an application for the job. Remember, a good job advertisement emphasizes why an individual should apply for the job.

Catch job seekers’ attention and get more views and clicks


  • Job title. The job title needs to be short and simple. One of the main purposes of the job title is to provide keywords for the search engines. It also needs to attract the reader, so think about what the candidate is searching for. Remember, it doesn’t need to be the full formal title the employee will receive.
  • Short, compelling introduction. Keep this to one short paragraph of two to three lines. At this stage, talk about the job, rather than the company. Help them understand if the job is something that appeals to them, and so are willing to keep reading.”

Data Analyst Required

“We are looking for a Big Data expert, to produce predictive models and build algorithm. Be part of a high-flying team developing market revolutionizing products for the recruitment market.”


Maximize job seekers’ engagement and get applications started


Convince job seekers to start to apply. A good job advertisement emphasizes why an individual should apply for the job. You want to stand out from the crowd and sell the job to the job seeker.

When the job seeker clicks to view the full job description, you need the following sections, in addition to the title and introduction. The job description mustn’t be too short, but your readers don’t want a lot of text. Keep it simple and remember that you want them to carry on reading.

“Our data scientists analyze tens of millions of data points daily so we can better understand the needs and actions of job seekers and employers...”
  • Job responsibilities. Provide the main tasks. Put the responsibilities in context. Remember that this is an ad; it doesn’t need to cover all aspects of the job, just the main ones.
  • Qualifications. What are the skills, qualifications and attributes you are looking for? You have to be careful here, weigh up the pros of having many CVs, versus receiving only a few because you listed too many skills as requirements. Think carefully about what skills are mandatory and which are important.
  • Key benefits. This includes salary range, plus benefits and perks. What would make the candidate come to you rather than a competitor? For example, do you offer flexible working hours?
  • Your company. Don’t just copy the “About Us” section from your website. Try to relate this to the job you are offering. Remember that the candidate can look up more details if they are interested.
  • Do add a company logo. You want to go light on the branding, but the logo projects a professional image of your company.
  • Action step. If the reader wants to apply, what should they do? Provide clear instructions.

The remainder of this guide provides more details and examples on how to write a job ad that maximizes your return on the campaign investment.


Guidelines for writing an ad

General guidelines


  • Use short sentences and paragraphs. This helps the reader quickly understand the content.
  • Use bullet points.
  • Use simple, everyday language. Think about the type of reader you want as a candidate.
  • Use “you” and “yours”. This helps the reader visualize themselves in the job.


  • Nowadays, serif fonts (such as Times New Roman) are just as easy to read online as sans serif (such as Arial). Sans serif typefaces are modern looking and have a look that is direct and precise. The typefaces traditionally recommended for online ads are Helvetica, Arial and Verdana. Whichever font you use, remember to keep it clean and simple.
  • Large fonts are easier to read. Use 14 – 16 point for headings, and 12 for text.
  • Do not use CAPITALS. They are harder to read quickly.
  • Use Bold for the job title, and make it a larger font than the text.
  • Avoid italics. They are hard to read.
  • All sorts of colors and shadows reduce readability. Use simple black text on a white background.

Job ad structure

  • Job title
  • Short, compelling introduction
  • Job responsibilities
  • Qualifications
  • Key benefits
  • Your company
  • Action step

Job ad content

Job title

  • Use simple, specific and functional titles. Think about what the candidate is searching for.
  • Job seekers tend to scan titles starting with the first few words, so make sure that you use the actual title at the beginning of the sentence. For example, “Data Analyst at ABC Recruitment”.
  • Use simple job titles not gimmicky ones. Remember that the job title provides the keywords for the search engines. For example, use “Data Analyst” rather than “IoT guru”.
  • Avoid abbreviations where possible. For example, “Senior Vice President”, not “Sr. VP.
  • If you look for a specialized candidate, specify it in the ad. This should result in a more relevant pool of candidates for your job. For example, “Litigation lawyer” not “lawyer”.
  • When you add a phrase to the end of the job title, make sure it is not too generic; otherwise, it may draw a completely different pool of candidates. For example, “Programmer – Financial software” not “Programmer – Financial Services”.

Short, compelling introduction

  • Your opening paragraph needs to spark the interest of the job seeker. If you don’t catch their attention now, then you may lose it completely.
  • You need to entice the job seeker to read the rest of the ad. Phrase it in terms of the benefit to them once they get the job.
  • Talk about the job, rather than the company - this is not the place to describe the company.
  • Do not write questions such as “Are you stuck in your job?” This could be seen as condescending.
  • Keep the opening paragraph short - around three lines.

Job responsibilities

  • List the main tasks required from the successful applicant. Remember that this is an ad; it doesn’t need to cover all aspects of the job, just the main ones.
  • Put the responsibilities in context, so that the job seeker can “feel” the company and how they might fit in.
  • If the candidate needs to have soft skills such as the ability to collaborate with others, this is the place to put them, not in the qualifications section.

"As our Big Data expert, you will be responsible for producing statistical, mathematical and predictive models, building the algorithms used to extract data, and communicating your findings both orally and visually to both senior management and..."


  • Name each skill and then the required level of expertise or experience.
  • You can provide a specific number of years of experience, or a range of years. If you don’t mind having experienced people, add the minimum years of experience.
  • Remember to define what is a “must have” and what is “desired”

“C++ programmer – must have 2-4 years of experience.”

“C++ programmer –minimum 2 years of experience.”

“Data analyst – ability to program in Ruby, desirable.”

Key benefits

  • Benefits include salary range, plus benefits and perks. What would make the candidate come to you rather than a competitor?
  • You need to “sell” the company to the job seekers and describe what it means to them to work in your company.

“We are a family-friendly organization with flexible working hours.”

Your company

  • People want to work for special employers and are generally not motivated to seek work with boring, run-of-the-mill, ordinary, unadventurous organizations.
  • Do not refer to any external information or provide links.
  • Describe your company and what it does. Don’t just copy the “About Us” section from your website, but try to relate the company section to the job you are offering.

“Our data scientists analyze tens of millions of data points daily so we can better understand the needs and actions of job seekers and employers. We put data in the forefront for our partners and give them the insight needed to grow their recruitment business”


Take action

If the reader is interested in your vacancy what are the next steps you want them to take?

  • There is usually an ‘Apply Now' button.
  • Consider adding a contact email or phone number as well as a reference number to quote so you can track where your applications came from.
  • Provide insight on anything specific you want included in the cover letter.


And finally…

Now that you have a good job ad, don’t post it on Friday evening. By Monday they’ll be last week’s news. Sunday or Monday morning is a good day to post and advertise your roles when the candidates are most active. Most job boards use freshness as a factor in ranking job search results