Top 6 Job Advert Mistakes to Avoid

The time has come for you to hire for a new position within your department, and you are keen to attract the best talent possible. You have a clear image of the ideal recruit – from their industry experience and expertise; to their personality, professional conduct and cultural fit.


Writing a job advert is probably the last thing you want to do with a thousand things at work. However, writing a good, thorough job advert is key to finding the right candidate.


The top two criteria for candidates to filter by when conducting a job search were location (80%) and salary (62%). However, only 46% of employers always include salary information in job adverts, potentially missing out on candidates who will not consider applying without this information. It is important that this information is accurate and aids candidates in their search.



When candidates are searching for a new role, they are reading over multiple job ads a day, so rather than including an unnecessary amount of words, try to keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Aim to include only the most relevant information and words that will catch their attention rather than regurgitate the great long list of responsibilities listed in the original job description provided to you by HR departments. At the end of the day, no one wants to sift through a big block of text that could have been condensed into 3 sentences or bullet points.


Our research also shows that misleading job advert content is one of the most common reasons employees leave a job within the first 12 months, given that a job didn’t meet the expectations of 42% of respondents. Mismatched understanding of management expectations (34%), the culture of the organisation (33%) and salary and benefits being oversold (26%) were also frequent reasons for leaving, all of which could be addressed in part through more effective use of job adverts.


Your job advert may be the first thing an applicant sees, but the content you provide about your organisation needs to be consistent at every point. It makes it simpler for people to get to know what your company is like as an employer. Also, it gets indexed by search engines, making it easier for job seekers to find your job openings.


There are some common job advert mistakes to avoid. Look below to see some of the worst and ensure you aren’t putting off candidates!


1. Leaving out the salary


While it isn’t all about the money, your candidates will want to know what they’re getting. It’s a waste of their time to blindly apply with no idea of their potential pay packet. Of course, a job advert’s other aspects will interest candidates. These include the location, company, career progression, and job role itself. However, leaving the payout of the job advert will leave your candidates fearing the worst.


If you can’t offer a lucrative salary and you’re worried that displaying this will only put off candidates, there are ways to make your job advert more attractive. For example, you should always try to include your employees’ various perks or bonuses. You may even want to sweeten the deal by suggesting you can offer career and salary progression further down the line, along with something desirable like flexible working. Ultimately, you’ll want to avoid job advert mistakes like this, or you risk losing the attention of top candidates who know their worth on the market!


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2. Missing out on other key information


As well as the salary, there are other key pieces of information that you shouldn’t miss out on. The essentials should always be included in a job advert, as you want your candidates to fully understand the role and the company. One of the biggest job advert mistakes you can make is not including the full responsibilities and duties of the role. Otherwise, your candidates won’t know what to expect from their day-to-day roles.


As well as engaging the reader, your job advert needs to be clear and succinct. You can’t properly sell your role to a candidate if you’re missing parts of the puzzle!


3. Negative language


A huge job advert taboo is using negative language. So, you should avoid it at all costs. Steer clear of phrases such as “do not apply if…” or “only apply if…”; this could potentially deter great candidates who are on the fence about applying simply because they don’t quite match the job specification. You don’t want to miss out on a good hire because you were too negative with your job advert. While this may cut down your applications considerably and filter out some unsuited candidates, you shouldn’t close off all your options. Some candidates may be slightly underqualified, but they could have fresh ideas and a supreme knowledge of the industry instead. Don’t make the mistake of including this job advert taboo; you may miss out on a larger pool of talent!


4. Industry jargon


You’ll obviously want to attract candidates that have technical expertise, but littering your post with jargon is a huge job advert taboo. This will confuse and annoy your candidates. Your job advert needs to be clear and concise. Teach the jargon later when you make your new hire and they’re settling into working life. If you’re unclear about your offer, your candidates won’t want to apply. This can also deter candidates who are considering a career change. They’ll be reluctant to apply if they aren’t sure about what you’re trying to explain.


5. Employer-centred text


Remember whom you’re marketing to here. While you may be desperate to hire for this position, you need to make it as much about what you’re offering to the candidate rather than what you want. Rather than simply filling your advert with instructions and orders, try to explain why this role is perfect for candidates. What can they gain from this role? Are you offering excellent benefits? Shout about them! Maybe you can vouch for speedy career progression with excellent performance. Why not explain this in the job advert? Put yourself in your candidate’s shoes. You want to work for a company where your development is taken seriously. It’s seriously off-putting when a company views its employees as cogs in a machine rather than investing in their full potential.


6. Overselling the role


Yes, you want your company to sound appealing and attract loads of candidates to your roles, but this doesn’t mean you should lie. It’s one of those job advert mistakes you’ll want to avoid like the plague. Especially as a poor recruitment process can severely damage your company’s reputation. At the same time, differentiate yourself from every other job advert out there. To stand out from the rest, try to avoid using clichés such as ‘no day is the same, ‘never a dull moment or a great opportunity for…’. These are tired and won’t excite your candidates. Be honest, but more importantly, be passionate. Don’t oversell yourself otherwise when it comes to making a new hire; you won’t retain them for very long!


It’s all about selling your company and attracting candidates to your role. And by avoiding these job advert mistakes, you’re already halfway there!


Top talent are looking for something exceptional and worthy of their skills to grab their attention. Unfortunately, most job descriptions look like they were written in a template. To attract the best candidates, you need to avoid these common mistakes.


All these interruptions mean shorter attention spans, so give them what they want as soon as possible. Put the hot stuff, like salary, location and a reason to read on, up top.


There are some companies that take it one step further and come up with the wackiest title possible with the hope of catching the candidate’s attention. Once again, job titles which aren’t clear on function and seniority, i.e., “Social Media Superstar” or “Website Wizard”, will cause the advert to rank beneath and therefore gain less traction than ads for a “Junior Social Media Executive” or “Senior Web Analyst”.


This is why so many of our clients retain our services for recruiting top talent. At Beagle Talent, we have the expertise and the network and are very effective in building rapport with potential candidates that match your role and company.


Talk to us today and find out how we can help.

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