It’s a Job Ad, not a Job Description

We’re currently in the final stages of testing for a new release scheduled for next month. It’s going to include a lot of great things and we’ll be covering all the new features and improvements in an up-coming post.

In addition to the new functionality and user experience improvements, we’re also making one tiny wording change – The Job Description field will be renamed Job Ad. We’re sorry it’s taken so long and we’ve been contributing in a small way to a practice that is common in the industry – using job descriptions, not job advertisements, to try and identify and attract job applicants.

A job ad and a job description are not the same thing. A job description is an internal document that describes the responsibilities, authority, complexity, reporting structure, working conditions, etc. associated with a specific job. The job ad should be a (usually shorter, but more jazzy) version that still describes the job in sufficient detail so that a prospective candidate can determine if they’re a good fit. Just as importantly, however, it should do a really good job of highlighting the reasons why people would want this job at this company. A good job ad shouldn’t include a laundry list of pointless skills and requirements, but rather set out the results that the successful candidate will need to achieve to be considered a success.

The job ad can often be the difference-maker in making a great hire. Done well it will bring not only a higher quantity of candidates, but a higher quality as well. If you need more persuading, here’s just one example of the impact a good job ad can have. This feedback was sent via our support page just this week, and it really demonstrates the effect the job ad has on the candidate experience and the employer brand as a whole.


I came across a job posting by [Company Name] for a help desk technician. The description of the job and the overall feel that was produced by this posting was something I strongly want to be a part of.

I then took a couple of minutes to review the [company] website and I was totally blown away! The atmosphere, professionalism and overall culture is embedded into every aspect of the site which leads me to believe that it wasn’t just words typed into a computer but that employees of [the company] truly enjoy their work!

[Personal details removed…]

Even if there are no openings within the company, I would like to thank whomever wrote up that posting and the [company] as a whole! For giving hope and empathy to what has become a concrete jungle!

Have an amazing night!”

(This feedback was in response to job ad written by our friends at Hirefly; part of their service is the creation of truly awesome job ads. Services like this are often a great option if you don’t have the expertise, or the time, to create job ads internally).

This feedback demonstrates that the job ad achieved it’s 4 key objectives, akin to the key objectives of any advertising, but relating to applicants and jobs rather than customers and products:

  • Make applicants aware of your job or opportunity
  • Convince applicants your company’s job or opportunity is an attractive one;
  • Make applicants take the next step (apply, make contact, etc); and
  • Enhance the image of your company

Kudos as well to Hirefly’s customer that continued to engage the candidate by presenting effective and compelling employer brand proposition on the company website.

We hope that our small change will encourage more people to think twice before posting a job description, instead of a job ad. If you have any other thoughts, ideas or tips, please share them in the comments below and we’ll include the best in an upcoming post on how to writer killer job ads.

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