When should I write a job advert instead of a job description?

when should i write a job advert instead of a description by Oleg Magni from Pexels

What’s the difference between a job advert and a job description? When should you write one instead of the other?

If you want to attract the best candidates, it’s important that you look into your recruitment process. Do you take the time to write a precise job description and a separate advert?

A simple thing like using a job advert instead of a job description can set you up for failure down the line.

But sitting down to look into the best way to advertise your role can be a hassle. You want to get on with it and hire right now! Writing a job description or a job advert should be easy!

But unfortunately it’s not. We work with employers everyday, helping them write the perfect job description before going on to craft a job advert for them ourselves. And what we’ve learned is that it’s not easy.

When should I write a job description?

The short answer is always!

Job descriptions are an essential part of hiring. They let your candidates know the ins and outs of the role responsibilities, pay, benefits and what they need to prove to be successful.

But job descriptions aren’t just for candidates, they’re for you too.

Lots of employers dive right into hiring without taking a second to think. But taking the time to write a job description will help you assess your business’ needs. So, what exactly are you looking for?

There are a few essential parts of job descriptions that you should think through and include:

  • The day-to-day responsibilities of the role
  • What skills someone needs to succeed
  • The lower and upper limits of the salary you want to pay
  • A few lines about your company and where this role sits within it

There are hundreds of job description templates online that can help you with this.

Sometimes you will work your way through the details of the role and realise that you don’t know the exact skills needed, or that there aren’t enough day-to-day responsibilities for someone to dedicate their time to.

Once you’ve finished tweaking it, list it on your website!

When should I write a job advert?

Job adverts on the other hand aren’t a must-have for hiring.

But they can be really powerful. We use job adverts when we want to publicly advertise our job opportunities. So if you’re ever struggling to get enough applicants you can use a job advert to boost your candidate pool.

Job adverts aren’t as detailed as job descriptions, but they can take even longer to perfect.

The purpose of a job advert is to entice applicants to apply, not inform them about the ins and outs of the role. So the best ones use the job description as a jumping-off point.

The two things to pay attention to when writing these is the language you use and SEO.

The language you use should be geared towards sparking excitement about your company and the role. Rhetorical questions, energetic language and calls to action should be your focus!

Here’s an example from one of ours:

Once you’ve finished writing it out, list this on external job sites like LinkedIn!

What should you do?

We always take the time to write the job description first. Not only is it the most essential part of this early stage of the hiring process, but your job advert will be built from it.

But a job advert combined with a great description can be a powerful combination. So if you want to extend your reach and attract as many top candidates as possible, we recommend using both!

If you ever need any help advertising vacancies and sourcing top talent, try out DigitalGrads. Let us do all the hard work for you!

About post author

Hi, I'm Daisy. I'm using my passion for writing to work with DigitalGrads on their content and social media campaigns.
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