ATTENTION EMPLOYERS!! Your Horrible Job Ads Are Killing Your Recruitment Efforts

In any job market whether employer-driven or candidate-driven, there is always competition. Much of the attention seems to go toward the thousands of candidates competing for a single job opening however the competition for talent is equally as important. One bad hire can poison corporate culture and cost thousands in turnover costs so it’s important for companies to attract and recruit the right talent. Attracting the right talent starts at the beginning with the job description.

Bad job descriptions are generic and fail to properly market the organization or position clearly. They contain ridiculous requirements and antiquated verbiage that doesn’t speak to today’s job seeker.

In today’s candidate-driven job market, it’s more important now than ever for employers to market jobs to their target audiences, not just tell them what’s required. Your job description should speak to a potential applicant’s career needs and show your organization in the most attractive light. It should paint a real image of the job and articulate what’s expected. If you’re wondering how to identify a bad job description, take note of the 3 categories below. If a job ad fits into any one of these areas, it’s bad.

Ridiculous requirements

Absurdities like “must come from a top 30 school,” or must have related industry experience are some of the key reasons companies have difficulty attracting the best talent. Be more open to candidates with experience from different industries. They bring fresh ideas and new perspectives. Both are good for business and if you’re only targeting those from  a similar industry, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Requiring years of experience does the same thing. It’s not about the years of experience so much as what they were able to accomplish. Focus on their contributions. Get to know them as individuals.  Another one is, “must be computer literate.” In today’s job market, who isn’t computer literate? Be specific. What are the relevant systems they’ll be working with? List those. If it’s something common like MS Office, say so but cut out these silly requirements. They’re keeping you from meeting your next superstar candidate.

Ineffective buzz words

Filling your job description with popular corporate terminology, phrases and jargon kills your job ad. Get real with your applicants. Tell them what you really need from them and leave out buzz words like “detail oriented” or “team player.” These words and many just like them are in every job description making it impossible for yours to stand out. Separate yourself from the pack by creating a human job ad that speaks to the kind of person you’re trying to reach.

Lack of detail

I have seen so many job ads that lack the kind of detail needed for any job seeker to make an intelligent decision. Empty job descriptions that lack detail are unattractive and do not work. You will not be able to charm the kind of applicant you’re looking for with a hollow job advertisement that’s too short or lacks job and employer related details. Use the job ad to convince the right job seeker to throw their hat in the ring. It’s called a job description for a reason. It’s supposed to describe the job, so do that! Be open and include appropriate details so you can entice the kind of talent you need.

A poorly written job ad gets overlooked and ignored by choice talent because they’re looking for more. Think of your job ad as an introduction. Just like the right resume will make you want to reach out and schedule an interview, the right job ad makes talented people want to apply.

Instead of flooding your job description with useless, ineffective and dated items, focus on your company culture and how you can market that to your target audience. Focus on the problems they’ll be solving and how they’re expected to add value. Speak to what really matters to today’s job seeker.


Step up! You’ll be happy you did.


Hi, my name is Pamela Shand and I want the best for you in your career. I started Offer Stage Consulting to show job seekers how to overcome the most annoying challenges and get where they want to be in their careers. It is possible to actually be happy at work!

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