Employment Advertising 101: Job Ads vs. Job Descriptions


Some jobs are just hard to fill, right?

You post the ad to as many job boards as you can, you spend more and more money on promotion, and you just don’t get the responses you want. You may even end up hiring a recruiter or a headhunter, eventually spending way more than you budgeted.

What if the problem stems from you and the way you write your job advertisements? Here’s the problem – you confuse yourself between job ads and job descriptions.


A job ad is meant to sell applicants on your company, team, location and all the things that make working for you great. That’s what you should be posting to job boards.


What should your job ad contain?

  • Job Title
  • Location
  • Salary
  • Why the candidate would be interested in the role – what’s in it for them
  • Summary of the role’s responsibilities in every-day language – avoid industry jargon
  • How to apply for the role
  • What to include in their application (e.g. cover letter, resume and references)
  • When applications close (cut-off date for receiving applications)

A job description should be detailed, if somewhat dry description of the responsibilities and expectations for a job that a company uses internally.


What to include in a typical job description?

  • Title of the role
  • Usual location/Office Location
  • Summary of the organisation – why does the organisation exist, what does the organisation do and why would someone want to work with the organisation
  • Summary/overview of the position – one paragraph demonstrating how the role fits into the organisation, who the role reports to, etc.
  • Key duties/tasks (bullet points will do). Note: it is very common to include a general category at the end for “other duties as required by the business”. This provides a bit of flexibility and means you can add duties or tasks without amending the job description
  • What qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience are required (this is often written as “The ideal candidate should have…”


Ready to post your job with jobsDB and start getting some results?