Looking to hire in 2023, but not sure what it takes to make your job posting stand out? From crafting a catchy headline to cramming in all the nuts and bolts, a lot goes into writing a job ad that excites candidates.
Employers have a limited amount of space to hook applicants. For this reason, creating a good job posting is a balancing act between accurately representing the job at hand and motivating job-seekers to apply.
Then there are the considerations after you’ve created your job ad. For instance: where do you post an ad for a job opening, when is the best time and day to do so, and how does one publish it on platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, or Craigslist?
In today’s shifting business landscape, the workforce is evolving. It’s vital to meet candidates on their terms and make a great first impression. Job advertisements are often the first place where employers can do just that—so you want to approach them with these goals in mind.
In this deep-dive on how to write a great job posting in 2023, we cover it all. Read on for a breakdown of everything to include in your write-up, tips for attracting top talent, examples of employers who have it down to a science, and templates for getting started in a snap.
Table of contents
- What is a job advertisement, anyways?
- 18 important parts of a help wanted ad
- What not to include in your job posting
- 5 characteristics of a compelling job advertisement
- How to write a job ad for Craigslist
- Job ad templates
- Examples of great job postings
- Tips for sharing job postings
- How to get qualified candidates fast
What is a job advertisement, anyways?
A job advertisement is, of course, a written blurb about an open position at a company designed to attract applicants. These were once posted in newspapers, but today, employers use job boards like CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, and Monster. Job ads can also appear on company career sites and staffing platforms like Jobble.
You can also define job advertisements in terms of what they aren’t. Though obvious to some, job ads and job descriptions are not the same thing. Rather, great job postings sell employment opportunities the same way great commercials sell the products they’re advertising. By simply listing the related duties of a position as you would in a job description, you’ll lose qualified candidates to more compelling job posts.
We’re not advocating that employers misrepresent the job they’re hoping to fill or put more emphasis on the employee’s needs than their own. But employer-employee relations are reciprocal. So you’ll want to highlight the job benefits and what’s in it for your future employees.
18 important parts of a help wanted ad
The job description is just one component in a list of details to include in your help wanted ad. Here are 18 must-haves in your job posting and why they matter.
1. Job title
Because today’s applicants use searchable job boards to land their next gig, you’ll want to make sure the title you’re using is standard across the industry and aligns with the responsibilities of the position. If you’re hiring a sous chef but use ‘line cook’ as the job title, you’ll miss the opportunity to show up in the right candidates’ job searches.
2. Company name
Providing your company name gives applicants the opportunity to Google your business for additional information.
3. Job description
Also called a JD, a job description summarizes the work and spells out important responsibilities and qualifications. We provide additional detail about these two components below.
Job responsibilities refer to the tasks an individual must perform in their job. If you’re hiring a warehouse worker to receive orders, prepare shipments, operate forklifts, and maintain accurate inventory tracking, then those would all fall in the category of job responsibilities.
5. Required qualifications
Required qualifications describe the prior experience expected of applicants and the capabilities needed to perform a job. Some different categories of qualifications include:
- Required skills: Required skills often align with the job itself. A line cook, for instance, might be required to have basic knife skills, whereas a receptionist would need excellent communication skills.
- Education requirements: Educational requirements describe any diploma, degree, or license expected of an applicant. GEDs, bachelor’s degrees, and state licensures (such as for a barber or esthetician) are examples of educational requirements you might list in a job ad.
- Experience requirements: Whether you’re hiring an entry-level employee or an experienced manager, you’ll want to list the amount of experience required in the help wanted ad, often in terms of the number of years spent performing similar duties. An example would be: “two years of experience in event management.”
- Language requirements: Be sure to list the language requirements—whether English, Spanish, or Mandarin Chinese.
- Physical requirements: Are employees required to stand for long periods of time or lift heavy boxes? Make this explicit in the job advertisement so that anyone unable to physically perform the job is aware of the expectations upfront.
6. Salary or compensation
Salary is often the first thing candidates look for in a job advertisement. Whether provided as an hourly wage or annual salary, including this information allows candidates to quickly determine whether or not the job fits their personal requirements. Many employers are tempted to leave salary out. But by doing this, they risk not getting as many applicants and wasting time pursuing applicants who aren’t on the same page as them. Some states have also passed pay transparency laws in recent years, so this is a necessary component of help wanted ads in 2023. After all, you’re free to list a wide salary range rather than pinpoint an exact number.
7. Benefits package
Do you offer paid time off (PTO), tuition reimbursement, paid maternity leave, or a 401K? Here’s your chance to shout it from the roof. You’ll also want to mention more nuanced perks, like happy hours or product discounts. Don’t miss this chance to sell potential applicants on all the little things that make your company great.
8. Work schedule
Job seekers looking for flexible gigs or even side hustles to supplement their 9-5 will want to know the hours before applying. Provide detail about the days and schedule expected so that you don’t waste time interviewing candidates with conflicting commitments.
It’s like they say: location, location, location! Be sure to include the address in your job ad so applicants know where they’ll clock in.
10. Contact information
Adding contact information allows applicants to ensure their resume made it into the right hands and also gives them an avenue to follow up. In cases where you’re bombarded by job applications, this can help you identify which applicants are most passionate and proactive about reaching out.
11. Application deadline
By listing the application deadline in your help wanted ad, you’ll prevent job-seekers from spamming your inbox after the fact. This is especially important today because job aggregators pull postings from multiple job boards and republish them elsewhere on the internet.
12. Company information
Company information will differentiate your job post from others and attract candidates aligned with your mission and values. We’d suggest providing a brief description of the company, work environment, and size.
Similar to company information, providing a summary of the industry or market that your company operates in empowers applicants to evaluate whether the opportunity is a good fit.
14. Job type
Are you seeking full-time, part-time, contract, or temporary employees? Be sure to make that crystal clear in your help wanted ad.
15. Application process
With all of the above spelled out, don’t forget to tell your readers exactly how to apply. Should they submit their resume via your website or contact you directly via email? For job boards like LinkedIn that allow applicants to apply without leaving the website, make sure you have applications going to the right place.
16. Diversity statement
Communicating your company’s commitment to diversity will signal to candidates that the company holds progressive values. In the long run, this can help create a more inclusive workplace. A diversity statement looks something like this:
“Our company is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued and supported. We believe that a diverse team brings different perspectives, experiences, and skills that enhance our ability to serve our customers and achieve our goals. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or ability, and are dedicated to creating a workplace where everyone can thrive.”
17. Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) statement
Similar to a diversity statement, an EOE statement is a short paragraph demonstrating that the employer is dedicated to fair hiring processes. They are not legally required, but including them lets candidates know that you take workplace discrimination seriously. EOE statements look like this: “It is company policy not to discriminate against any applicant for employment, or any employee because of age, color, sex, gender, disability, national origin, race, religion, or veteran status.”
18. General disclaimer
As a final item in the templated boilerplate, we’d recommend including a general disclaimer along the lines of, “This job description is intended to be a general description of the essential duties and requirements of this position. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list.”
What not to include in your job posting
1. Discriminatory language
Discriminatory language or requirements based on protected characteristics such as race, religion, gender, age, etc. have no place in a job ad. Not only is it illegal and off putting, but this could also get your job ad flagged and pulled down.
2. False or misleading information
Transparency is key when crafting your job posting. You’ll set your company up for success by hiring employees who know what they’re walking into, and an inaccurate job description could breach regulations like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires reasonable accommodations for the physical and mental limitations of an individual with a disability.
3. Excessive salary or compensation information
As noted above, job postings often list the salary as a range and touch on other benefits, like a 401K or signing bonus. And while pay transparency is beneficial, you’ll want to avoid getting too far into the weeds. It’s a good idea to leave room for internal changes, negotiations, and other unforeseen dynamics.
4. Demands for personal information not related to the job
Requests for personal information regarding gender, religion, plans for having children, or struggles with addiction aren’t permissible in professional settings. Several federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 deem these inquiries illegal.
5. Threats or negative statements toward applicants
Job ads should be positive and free of any negative statements or threats toward applicants. After all, you get more bees with honey than vinegar.
6. Unlawful or unethical job duties
If the job you’re filling requires applicants to participate in unlawful or unethical activities, then we’d suggest reevaluating your strategy. It goes without saying that listing these duties in the job ad is also a no-no.
7. Insufficient job description or requirements
The job description gives you an opportunity to explain what you need, which in turn gives applicants a way to evaluate whether it’s a good fit. Providing insufficient information will only lead to unmet expectations, a lack of transparency, and frustration for both parties.
8. Inaccurate job location information
Again, accuracy is the name of the game. Don’t list your headquarters if the job in question will be performed at a local branch. Incorrect location information will only bring in candidates with the wrong impression about their daily commute.
5 characteristics of a compelling job advertisement
Writing a great job ad in 2023 starts with being truthful and thorough. From there, you also want to keep it brief, make it skimmable, and clearly state what applicants should do next. Here’s how to write a compelling job ad in five simple steps:
1. Be truthful
Honest job ads bring in honest workers. Being truthful doesn’t just check the legal and ethical boxes; it contributes to a healthier workplace and happier employees.
2. Be thorough
You wouldn’t hire a candidate unable to offer a detailed explanation for why they’re the right fit. Likewise, they’ll be more inclined to invest energy into job openings when the duties and expectations are clearly defined.
3. Be brief
Although at odds with the point above, be brief where possible. This is as simple as making sure you aren’t repeating yourself throughout the write-up and avoiding wordiness.
4. Make it skimmable
By organizing your job ad in a skimmable format that uses bullets, lists subheads, and/or bolded text, you’ll make it more digestible for job-seekers. This gives you an immediate edge over your competitors who are posting job ads made up of a single paragraph without any line breaks.
5. Provide clear next steps
So you’ve hooked your reader and given them everything necessary to evaluate the opportunity. They were able to skim the required qualifications and are confident about their candidacy. But what’s next? Make sure to clearly outline the next steps in the application process so that all your efforts produce results. This information is often included at the end of a job posting, so consider setting it off from the other paragraphs and putting it in bold.
How to write a job ad for Craigslist
To put our instruction into practice, let’s pretend you’re creating a Craigslist ad for a job your company needs to fill. You’ve assembled all the essential pieces and polished them up to achieve the five tips above. Perhaps you’ve even used our Craigslist job ad template as the framework for your post.
Next comes releasing the job advertisement into the world. Here’s how to post a job ad on Craigslist:
Step 1: Create a posting
On your local Craigslist site (example: denver.craigslist.org), select create a posting in the top-left corner of the page, directly below the craigslist title. On the page it brings you to, you can either select job offered or gig offered depending on which describes your posting. You will have to pay a fee for both options, but Craigslist charges less for gig advertisements than it does for job advertisements.
Step 2: Select category
As you toggle through the prompts, you’ll be required to select the category of your job. For jobs offered, you’re able to select more than one; whereas gig jobs restrict the poster to a single category. The cost to post a job ad on Craigslist also varies by location, so you’ll want to check your local site.
Step 3: Enter job details
The next step is to fill out all of the job details, including your posting title, location, description, etc. Do note that the posting title and job title are two separate fields, so you’ll want to use the former to catch the attention of potential applicants with something catchy and inviting. Once you’ve filled out all of the required information, click continue.
You’ll have the opportunity to pinpoint the location and add pictures to make your advertisement stand out.
Step 4: Review and pay
After you add all the information, Craigslist will present you with the posting to review. Once you click continue, it’s time to set up an account through email verification (if you don’t already have one) and then provide payment information.
Step 5: Monitor
Craigslist must approve what you submit before it goes live. This usually takes less than 20 minutes, after which you’ll receive an email. From there, it’s up to you to sort through applicants, engage in conversations, and move the process forward.
Craigslist job ads FAQs
Can you post a job on Craigslist for free?
Most U.S. cities and states charge a fee to post job listings on Craigslist, so expect to pay when using the site for your recruiting efforts.
What’s the best day to post a job ad on Craigslist?
Job hunters are most active between Monday and Thursday. You’ll want to avoid the weekend if you’re going for volume.
What’s the best time to post a job ad on Craigslist?
The recipe for posting jobs on Craigslist is not too early and not too late. Aim for sometime between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to get the most eyeballs on your advertisement.
Job ad templates
Below we’ve provided several job ad templates for you to customize accordingly.
Generic job ad template
- Required qualifications:
Job type (full-time/part-time/temporary):
How to apply:
Diversity statement: Our company is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued and supported. We believe that a diverse team brings different perspectives, experiences, and skills that enhance our ability to serve our customers and achieve our goals. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or ability, and are dedicated to creating a workplace where everyone can thrive.
EOE statement: It is company policy not to discriminate against any applicant for employment, or any employee because of age, color, sex, gender, disability, national origin, race, religion, or veteran status.
General disclaimer: This job description is intended to be a general description of the essential duties and requirements of this position. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list. For information on [Company Name], including more information on employee benefits and our company culture, visit our website at [insert URL].
Craigslist job ad template
Posting title: [Include something enticing, such as flexible hours or no experience required]
City or neighborhood:
- Job description:
- Required qualifications:
- Company description:
- How to apply:
- Application deadline:
Diversity statement, EOE statement, and general disclaimer:
Our company is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued and supported. We believe that a diverse team brings different perspectives, experiences, and skills that enhance our ability to serve our customers and achieve our goals. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or ability, and are dedicated to creating a workplace where everyone can thrive.
It is company policy not to discriminate against any applicant for employment, or any employee because of age, color, sex, gender, disability, national origin, race, religion, or veteran status.
This job description is intended to be a general description of the essential duties and requirements of this position. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list. For information on [Company Name], including more information on employee benefits and our company culture, visit our website at [insert URL].
Employment type (full-time/part-time/temporary):
Examples of great job postings
To get you excited about what a good job posting ad can look like, here are a couple of examples across industries and roles.
Example job ad for a receptionist
The job ad below for a Front Desk Coordinator at Floyd’s Barbershop provides all the required information in a skimmable and inviting format. Although it’s missing a diversity statement, EOE statement, and general disclaimer, those are simple to tack on and won’t seriously impede hiring efforts.
Example job ad for a manager
This posting for a Customer Success Manager at Uscreen does a great job of grabbing the reader’s attention through a mix of emojis, bulleted lists, and conversational writing. Beyond making it crystal clear what the role entails and what’s required to apply, the job ad also includes a dedicated section (Our Commitment to You) outlining what’s in it for the applicant.
Tips for sharing job postings
Ok, we’ve covered everything that goes into writing a job post. But what about getting it in front of job-seekers?
You’ll get the most eyeballs on your ad by posting it in multiple locations. For that reason, we’d recommend going beyond just Craigslist and also publishing it on your website, LinkedIn, and other social media channels.
Example: Sharing a medical job ad
Let’s say you have a medical job ad for a registered nurse (RN). The Is are dotted, and the Ts are crossed. What’s next?
RNs are less likely to peruse Craigslist for jobs than retail workers. For this reason, you’ll want to look into the best job boards for your specific industry. HospitalCareers, Nurse.com, and Jobble are all great sites for recruiting healthcare workers.
From there, there are a number of free ways to share job postings—such as sharing on social media sites. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are all appropriate places to post about job openings. For this scenario, you could find a Facebook group like Colorado Travel Nurse Jobs. That way, you’re able to share it with a targeted audience in the industry and location where your business operates.
LinkedIn is also a great place to recruit employees. The business-focused social media network allows you to post jobs for free from your own profile or business page.
When sharing a job posting on LinkedIn, important information to share could include:
- An external link: Include a link to the job posting on your website (or another third-party location) in the comments so that people can share it outside of LinkedIn as well.
- How to apply: Do you want applicants to submit their resumes through LinkedIn, on the company website, or via email? Include this when sharing the job posting so that nothing gets lost in translation.
- Relevant people: If your colleagues and team members are also on LinkedIn, don’t forget to tag them in the post. This will help get your post in front of their network, and it’ll allow applicants to learn more about the people they’d be working with.
Examples of what to write when you share a job include:
- Encourage readers to share the news with others. Social media is all about leveraging the power of the community. Add a sentence to your post along the lines of “please feel free to share this opportunity or comment for visibility.”
- Don’t shy away from emojis. Although hiring isn’t the most thrilling subject matter, there’s no reason you can’t let some personality shine through to catch your audience’s attention. Here’s a repository of LinkedIn emojis to copy and paste into your posts.
- Hashtags: Using a mix of hashtags like #hiring, #jobalert, and even industry-specific ones like #writingjobs will help get your post in front of as many people outside of your network as possible.
How to get qualified candidates fast
If you’re still struggling to write a good job wanted ad, it could be that you have too much on your plate to tackle everything covered in this article. In that case, Jobble’s staffing platform is here to help.
Hiring requires time and resources. But with Jobble, you’re able to hire great candidates—fast—while still focusing on your core initiatives. Our all-in-one staffing platform connects businesses with the workers they need.
With Jobble, you get:
- Access to 5M+ gig workers
- Our guarantee that 90% of shifts will be filled in 24 hours or less
- A transparent hiring platform
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About the Author: Traci Ruether is a content marketing consultant and writer specializing in SEO for SaaS brands. You can follow her on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/traci-ruether or learn more at traci-writes.com.