Advertising Your Vacancies: The Difference Between Job Adverts and Job Descriptions

HR Manager preparing job advertisement

Attracting the best talent to your business is obviously important, which is why you should take care when it comes to advertising your job roles. Content is key to ensuring that you are appealing to the right candidates. One of the key things that you need to be aware of when advertising your vacancies is the difference between a job advert and a job description. Interestingly, the terms themselves are often used interchangeably, but they could not be more different. Most of the time, a job ad will need to include a job description, but this shouldn’t be the beginning and end of the ad. Read on to learn more.

Their Intended Purposes

The purpose of a job advert and a job description should be rather self-explanatory. A job advert is designed to sell a vacancy to potential candidates, and it tends to encompass more detail than a simple job description but more on that next. A job description, on the other hand, simply lists the day-to-day requirements of the role and all of its duties and responsibilities. Knowing this, it is hard to see how the two get confused when they are clearly different. In essence, a job description communicates your expectations to potential employees, while a job advert should go into more detail on what potential employees can expect when working for you.

Writing a Job Description

When it comes to writing a job description, the process is actually pretty straightforward. This being said, it does often make sense for you to have two versions of a job description. In a job advert, you really only need to include the most pertinent information. During the interview process and even after hiring, it is often beneficial to provide a more detailed job description so that there isn’t any confusion. It is also worth bearing in mind that a job description might evolve during this time to encompass new roles and responsibilities. When it comes to constructing a job description, it might be useful to refer back to sample descriptions which you can use to build your own; luckily, there are great resources out there, like Hiring People’s library of examples.

Writing a Job Advert

Writing a job advert is often more involved and requires more information. As stated above, a job advert includes a job description. In addition to the description, it also will need to provide more information on what a successful candidate can expect when they come to work with you; this means an overview of the business as a whole, its culture and any perks that you offer. You should also include information on the salary that you plan to offer. Finally, a job advert should also include a personal specification. This means listing what you are looking for in a successful candidate; what do they need to possess in terms of qualifications and experience? You can also list other qualities that you want them to have.

Language and Tone

The final thing that you will need to be aware of when writing your job advertisements is the type of language that you’ve used and the tone of the ad. Most job adverts should be kept pretty simple and as concise as possible. The advert needs to draw in applicants; the interview stage is where you can go into more detail with the shortlisted candidates. You need to make sure that advert has been proofread to ensure that there are no mistakes which will make it seem unprofessional and put off potential applicants.

The advert needs to strike a balance between being professional and also seeming personable. A lot of businesses tend to forget that a real person will be reading the ad and applying for the job, which is why they can come across as a little cold and clinical. Try to address the reader in the second person and strive to achieve a warm tone while maintaining your professionalism. A final finishing touch that you may want to include is some contact details to allow applicants to get in contact if they have any questions regarding the application process. An email address is often sufficient; it doesn’t always need to go to the hiring manager, either. Think about who the right person to answer queries will be. The job description tends to be more sparse in terms of both language and tone because it is simply a list of responsibilities.

To Sum Up

By now, the differences between a job ad and a job description should be pretty clear to you. While a job description is an integral part of a job ad, it isn’t the only element. Using a job description as the entirety of the ad is likely to be ineffective and fail to attract the right candidate. It is also worth thinking about your recruitment process as a whole to make sure that it is geared towards finding the perfect person to fulfil the vacancy within your business.

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