How to Write an Employment Ad |

How to Write an Employment Ad

Business owner Tom met with me recently to discuss methods of improving his manufacturing company’s brand and marketing power.

In reviewing the marketing materials, his woeful employment ads were the first thing I noticed.

“If your business wants to attract the best talent, why are you using such poor employment ads?” I said.

Unfortunately, the approach Tom’s company was taking isn’t unusual.

We’ve all heard that PEOPLE are a company’s best asset. It’s a statement that’s been made time and again and is the topic of countless books.

Yet there are still a shocking number of businesses that either do not put enough effort into the writing of their employment ads or do not have the understanding or expertise required to create a clear, concise message that will attract top talent.

Here are 5 tips to help you write more effective employment ads, also known as job postings when using an online job board, to guide you in the right direction and attract better talent:

It’s Not About ‘We’; It’s About You
Too many companies make their job postings about their company. Your posting needs to be written for the ideal person you want to hire and work with. The classic mistake is writing “we” throughout the posting when you should be writing “you”. Every step you take to centre your text to appeal to your audience will help your message become more relevant and effective.

Robot Talk Not Good
When your posting uses the same language as the lowest common denominator, there is nothing to separate you from the pack. We have all seen job postings filled with words such as “the candidate”, “reporting to”, and “must possess”, and while there’s nothing technically wrong with these terms, they do nothing to stir up the emotional juices in your audience. Your writing style for a job posting should be no different from the way you would speak with a potential employee. It is okay to write in a conversational – let’s call it “human” – tone. In fact, it will make your job posting that much more potent.

Do You Have a Culture?
Every business should have a vision they are working toward. What’s yours? How about the environment in your workplace? Are you laid back? Is it fun working with you? Maybe you offer an employee trip each year or pizza and beer every Friday after 3 pm? Most job postings talk nothing about their business culture, and that’s a big mistake. More than ever, “corporate culture”, as it is often called, is just as much a deciding factor as salary when choosing whom to work for. Don’t be shy about injecting some culture into your posting. It’s powerful and it works.

Help Them to Choose You
Another important point that many job ads neglect is selling the company’s competitive advantage. There are two advantages you should consider including in your job-posting text. The first is the same advantage you would share with potential customers; that is, why you are relevant to them and why they should choose you. When a job seeker is evaluating which companies to contact, a major consideration is how successful this company is now as well as its prospects for the future. Having a strong competitive advantage helps make your case. The other advantage you want to share is your employment advantage. Here you should explain why the professional should choose your company over others. What do you offer that others do not? Remember, you are the one that needs to sell your vision and advantage to the job seeker in order to inspire the right people to contact you. Not to worry, it will be their turn next.

Be Visual
At, we encourage companies to include their logo in their job posting. There are several benefits to this. For one, it is easier for people to associate your brand and name when they have a visual cue to call up – and that’s the purpose of your logo. In job postings, displaying your logo also attracts and retains the attention of the professional looking through all the available jobs. There is no question that the text you include in your posting is more important than whether or not your logo is there. But adding your logo is like the cherry on top. And most people like cherries.

Put these 5 tips to use when you write your next job posting. You will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Michael Zipursky is a marketing consultant and co-founder of, the Canadian job board companies use to find marketing, creative and business professionals.