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How Long Should A Job Advert Be?

How long should a job advert be?

Before answering the above question, I think we should first remind ourselves as to the purpose a job advert.

A job advert needs to:

  • Describe the job which you are recruiting for
  • Tell the candidates what skills they need
  • Describe salary and any perks which come with the job
  • Provide information about your company and why someone would want to work with you
  • (see our blog post on job advertising checklist for a more detailed list)

Required Skills and Responsibilities

Likely to be the most important aspect of your job adverts is making sure you outline the skills and responsibilities which come with the job. Don’t set unrealistic expectations with the amount of experience you are looking for; an example being with programming languages; don’t ask for 5 years’ experience on a language when it has only been around for 6! There are naturally going to be very few people which would have that level of experience and might result in you not attracting candidates as they are off put by the requirement! For the above example, asking for 5 years experiencing programming though would be reasonable.

Outline key aspects of the job which would be expected to be done. An interesting example was for a role of a science technician at a school. One of the responsibilities was to collect various organs for dissection from the local abattoir, an element which would put off a lot of applicants, but key to the job role. Do you include in the job description realising it might put off respondents, or should you wait until interview?

In this instant, it would probably be better to include in the job advert, to ultimately save you time.

Getting your job advert seen

Making sure your job advert references common job titles for a role; when users search for a job role, they are likely going to be searching for fairly common roles (e.g. Business Development Manager/Executive). If you were to call your role “Revenue Growth Executive”, which might fairly accurately describe the job, most people will not be searching for “Revenue Growth Executive”.

Salary information

Some companies can be hesitant in including salary information in job adverts. The simple truth is that including salary information increases responses. It also acts as fairly simple self-selector mechanism.

Your company

We have said a few times on this blog that it has become a job seeker driven market. With budgets being tight, increasing salaries to attract employees isn’t necessarily a viable option. So what can you do? The simple answer is to “sell” your company to your future staff. You need to make it clear to them why they want to work for you. This is particularly crucial with Millennials.

We recently shared this video from IBM on marketing your company to employees:

The video includes a number of tips which you can do to help market your company.

If you are currently wondering how this has anything to do with your job advert, then read on!

Your job advert needs to sell your company’s values to your job applicants. Applicants with the same values are more likely to apply when they can see there will be a cultural fit; you don’t want to spend your time going through applicants which are not appropriate. Letting applicant self-select will save you time.

Advert length

Finally, onto the purpose of the blog! The length of advert will naturally have to vary depending on the role, but you really should be looking at between 300-500 words (between half and a full sheet of A4 typed). Any shorter, and applicants won’t learn enough above the role and are unlikely to apply; again any longer, and with the number of roles being advertised online, you run the risk of putting off applicants. These are very much only guidelines. What works for one particular role won’t necessarily work for the next.

Don’t write words for words sake. Make your advert concise, but include the above sections to make sure you get the right job applicants for your business.

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