Are You Creating The Worst Job Ads?

From clichés to common sense, so many job ads out there are filled with some pretty stupid stuff. At first glance, some of the requirements listed below seem imperative, but it is often relative to the position. Job ads take time, they cost money and they will ultimately gauge the caliber of talent that you attract. Please beware of these all too common, dumb job ad requirements and descriptors.

“Must work well with others.”

Well duh. Unless the position is for a tollbooth operator, the candidate knows that they are going to be working with human beings. If you mean that they should be ready to work closely with a diverse team on a daily basis, say that. If their projects will be mostly team-based, that’s what you should say. Describe the job; don’t waste room with common sense clichés.

“Minimum two years experience.”

Sometimes a position will genuinely call for experience, but it seems that all too often, entry-level positions are requiring a minimum of two years experience. This will send the message to quality and relevant candidates that will learn little to nothing joining this organization.

If a company isn’t at all interested in mentoring and training their employees, they will miss out and a lot of great candidates. Entry level specifically is an area in which companies need to concentrate on hiring for cultural fit and training for skill set.

“Need a great communicator.”

Again, duh. No one considers himself or herself a horrible communicator. This does absolutely nothing to describe the job or the person who would be best suited for the job. Descriptors should be used as both an advertiser for the position, as well as a screener for irrelevant candidates. This does neither.

“Bachelor’s Degree required.”

This one is all relevant. It does say a lot about a person when they have spent 4 year of their life completing something, but that should hardly be a determining factor. Turning candidates away that may not have a degree, but have rather spent that 4 years collecting real world, hands on experience, doesn’t really make much sense.

Instead of using this as a giant screen, get more detailed with expectations, skills, and experience. You may just end up with a debt free, totally qualified employee.

The Novel

Putting all of these cliché and common sense terms with descriptors and job duties can ultimately make a scroll of information that will only turn candidates away. First of all, no one is going to read all of that, and secondly, candidates will only find themselves to be under qualified and quickly move on.

Yes, the job ad should be used as a screening tool, but the goal isn’t to eliminate everyone. Keep it simple, informative and realistic.

Job ads are your foot in the door. They are just as much about informing candidates about your company as they are about informing candidates about the position. Formulating job ads that sell the company culture, screen candidates and attract quality talent, means steering clear of these space wasting, generic job descriptors and requirements. 

photo credit:
stuartpilbrow via