What Do Your Job Adverts Say About You?

What Do Your Job Adverts Say About You?

Written By Joanne Suter

Job adverts: the bane of many a recruiter’s life. For some agencies, they slip entirely by the wayside; with no real way to manage who can apply, ad response is notoriously bad and as such – often reasonably – some see it as a complete waste of time. On the flipside, I’ve come across agencies who rely solely on reactive applications to bring in the candidates they’ll later place – yet they struggle to attract the right people due to unexciting or badly written copy.

What many recruitment companies fail to realise is that, along with the rest of the content, blogs and material you’re putting out (or should be), job adverts contribute to your overall online presence (I can almost hear Hishem, the king of exactly this, shouting, “YOUR PERSONAL BRAND! YOUR PERSONAL BRAND AS A RECRUITER!!!”). They represent your agency, the type of work you do and, most importantly, how you do it. One thing is for sure – the humble job ad goes far beyond being simply a candidate generation tactic these days.

With all that in mind, consider the following question:

What do your job adverts say about you?

One need only briefly scan Reed, Indeed or the like to see that:

a)    Most ads placed online are placed there by agencies and,

b)    Most are haphazard, not particularly helpful and – let’s be frank – a bit crap. From dodgy formatting, jumbled bullet points and the pertinent overuse of !!!!!!!s, there are some real horror shows banded around.

 So, what might a lazy job advert signify?


If the little effort you put into writing this reflects the work you’re going to put into helping me land my ‘dream job’… It’s not looking good, pal. Sorry.

The candidate-recruiter partnership involves mutual graft to nail the interview and then negotiate that offer; if one side isn’t pulling their weight in this delicate balance of honest feedback, it won’t work (or certainly not as smoothly as it otherwise could).

Simply put, first impressions count – your dreary, unimpassioned ad isn’t making a great one.


Even with blind job adverts, it’s rarely difficult to identify who the hiring organisation is (especially if you’re committing the mortal sin of copy and pasting the company bio from their own website… Oops, just caught a few of you out, did I?)

So what does this shoddy advert tell a potential applicant about your client? Are they lazy, or is the onus on you, the consultant? Not ideal either way, and certainly not the sort of message you want to be spreading to the online jobseeker population. Candidates don’t necessarily know how recruitment works; for all they know, the company writes its own material and we just manage the applications.

Remember, you are representing your client, too – so represent them well.


This one is entirely self-explanatory: if you aren’t excited about this role, why should I be?

The job advert is your call to arms – it’s your chance to engage with that one superstar out there and say: apply. Let’s talk. It’ll be worth your time.

If you can’t portray this through words, and you can’t be arsed to actually list the benefits rather than adding “Competitive benefits GET IN TOUCH!!!!” at the bottom, then this candidate is scrolling on by.


Sometimes, it’s all too apparent that you’re just going through the motions. Invariably, a job advert doesn’t always attract the perfect applicant – but consider that the ‘right’ person was in fact reading, and was subsequently turned off by your lacklustre prose?

Sure, the ideal candidate may never see it. But write each and every advert as though they will – and write it well enough to make sure you don’t miss out on them when they do.


Ugh, sorry guys, I’m going to say it – that dreaded phrase beginning with ‘G’.

With the recent racket about all things GDPR, I personally have found a lot more people asking specifically to be removed from a database “until a suitable opportunity comes up,” (as I said, people outside of this realm don’t quite get how it works) or asking questions about how their CV is going to be used. If a candidate gets the feeling that this is just an opportunity for you to beef up your database with more profiles, they’re not clicking that all-important “Apply now!” button. “SEND US UR CV NOW AND WE WILL COME BACK TO U IF SUCCESSFUL IF NOT WE’RE KEEPING IT CLICK HERE TO AGREE” ain’t going to cut it in this day and age, not no more. Sorry not sorry.


The short and short is this: put as much effort into this aspect of the job as you do the rest. It might not yield immediate results – but hell, it also might do just that. And if not, you’re at least building towards your overall, long-term, online presence.

It’s important for agencies, large or small, to remember the bigger picture: your business. The values your agency represents. The way you want to be perceived by the general public (remember, it isn’t just job seekers on the net – think potential clients, your competitors, future investors, and so on and so forth). Online job ads should be seen as an extension of your overall marketing strategy, part and parcel to running a successful, furthermore reputable, business.

So, the basic

1)    Attention to detail: if your writing is sloppy, a candidate may presume that your agency is too. Ouch.

2)    Consistency: this is so important when building a brand, whether you’re a recruiter, blogger, postman or otherwise. Find something that works and stick with it.

3)    Be exciting: you’re dangling the carrot here! This is a call to action. We’re excited about this job – and you, my job-seeking friend, should be too. (Sidenote: I reiterate, adding multiple exclamation marks onto the ends of sentences DOES NOT automatically make an ad exciting!!!!)