5 Things NOT to Include In Your Job Advert

Your job adverts are the starting point of each of your recruitment advertising campaigns and it’s important to spend time getting them right.

We’ve previously talked about what you can include in your job adverts to attract candidates and communicate the great aspects of your company to jobseekers.

However, what are the things that you definitely shouldn’t be including?

Knowing what not to include in your advert is important. Using the wrong language or providing the wrong information can deter candidates and affect your image as an employer.

As such, we’ve compiled a list of five important points that shouldn’t be included in your recruitment advertising campaigns:


1. Discriminatory language

What’s viewed as discriminatory language isn’t as clean cut as stating something along the lines of, “You must be male and under 25 years’ old.”

We all know that your adverts shouldn’t be discriminating against gender, age, race or disability. However, if your adverts contain anything along the following lines then you’re at risk of discriminating:

– “You must be a recent graduate”
– “You must be a native French speaker”
– “Salesman wanted!”

So, what’s wrong with the statements above?

Asking candidates to be “recent” graduates can be problematic on two levels. Firstly, what’s the definition of “recent” – would the employer just want to see candidates who’ve graduated within the past year, two years or three years?

Secondly, what advantage would a recent graduate have over someone who graduated five years ago, for example? They would have both achieved the same qualification and would both have the required knowledge.

If you’re looking for a “native” speaker of a language, you’re excluding perfectly suitable candidates who might not have been born in that country but who can communicate fluently in the particular language.

Gender biased job titles can also be problematic – for example Salesman, Foreman or Air Hostess – try Sales Executive, Foreperson or Cabin Crew instead.

Discriminatory language is likely to leave a sour taste in candidates’ mouths, create a negative impression of you as an employer and could potentially lead to legal problems. So, make it a priority to ensure that your advertising doesn’t contain anything that can be viewed as discriminatory.


2. Negativity

Linking closely with discriminative language, try not to include any negative language in your job adverts.

Avoid make statements such as “Previous applicants need not apply” or “No telesales staff”. Whilst you might genuinely not want to attract these applicants, think about targeting your vacancy towards the people that you do want to apply.

For example, rather than going out of your way to deter applicants from a telesales background, state that candidates must have experience in a “field based or face-to-face sales role”. This should attract those with the experience you need.

The language used in job advertisements should always aim to include, not exclude. Just remember that any negativity can reflect poorly on your business.


3. Jargon

There’s nothing more frustrating than reading paragraphs of internal jargon that makes no sense – and this is usually found in two particular areas of a job advert.

All job adverts should contain a short introduction to your company and provide a basic overview of what you do (no more than a paragraph). Try and write this as clearly and as simply as possible – make sure that the average person can understand, not just someone who’s worked in your industry for 10 years.

It’s also important to cut out the jargon and internal language when outlining the details of the role. Try not to include phrases and acronyms that are purely used internally. Make sure that the details of the role are clear and easy to digest.


4. Lack of clarity

If you will only progress applications from candidates with a certain skill or qualification, you need to make it clear in your job advert.

For example, if you need candidates to be CIPD qualified for your latest HR vacancy, don’t say ‘A CIPD qualification would be advantageous’. This implies that applicants don’t actually need the qualification and that it’s simply desirable.

Unclear essential criteria can be a big waste of time for candidates and yourself, as it will mean that your time will be spent wading through irrelevant applications. Targeting your vacancies properly is crucial to getting the response you need for your job adverts.


5. Too much essential criteria

Nothing can repel potential candidates more than a hefty, bullet-pointed shopping list of essential skills that very few jobseekers are likely to possess.

Try to limit your essential criteria to 3-5 points, including experience, skills and qualifications.

It’s also important to make sure that the criteria you ask for matches up with the level and salary of the role on offer.

For example, asking for substantial marketing experience and a CIM qualification might be suitable for a Marketing Manager vacancy but not for a Marketing Assistant.


Still need some help when crafting your job advertisements? Webrecruit’s team of Copywriters are here to help you! Find out more.


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