Recently I received some positive feedback about job advertisements I had written for use on which as you know is one of the main online job boards here in New Zealand.

The job adverts I create for my clients’ roles, perform on average 60% better than similar ads.

It’s nice to receive a bit of praise, and on a practical level I’m always happy when the job ads I post get the volume and quality needed by my client—it really makes recruiting life easier. At the same time to be honest, I was a little bit surprised to get that feedback. There’s actually no special sauce or magical trick that I use when it comes to creating my job adverts. I follow a step-by-step process, that is certainly informed by my years of recruiting experience, but is also very simple. You can find plenty of similar advice on what works to attract candidates in many places on the internet, including from the job boards themselves.  

So while there’s no big secret to reveal, I will share the careful, methodical approach to building a job advert that I use, plus I then add a bit of creative flare! I put emphasis on quality facts (not fluff) and make sure I am laser focused on considering what my ideal candidate would want to know about the role. You can do this for your own recruitment advertising, I’ll breakdown what this looks like below:

Key advert content

I know that it’s really easy to get caught up in ensuring that you include every little thing that you are looking for from your shiny new employee, while forgetting to include what’s in it for them. Remember, the point of the ad: attracting quality candidates. This means your ad needs to be a balance of requirements, and what your business, and the role is offering.  Here is the checklist that I consult, to ensure I don’t forget anything.

Job title

 It’s the first thing the job seeker sees, and needs to be clear, jargon-free (don’t use internal organisational titles- keep it to industry standards) and basically, descriptive of what the role is all about.


Town/City and then an indicative location is a big help. Job seekers will rule themselves in or out based on location, so you want to make this super obvious. You can also add if there is a remote component or potential for remote work under ‘location’.


I know not everyone likes to include salary, but I can assure you, job seekers look for it. I would recommend that you do include at least an indicative range. NB. If you have questions about how to manage remuneration in your organisation so that this becomes easier, let me connect you with our HR consulting team.

About the job

Think about the essence of this role; how would you do an elevator pitch to a great candidate so that they then think ‘that sounds like the role for me!'?

What are the key responsibilities of the role?  What are the daily duties?  Include important context information such as the key customers or stakeholders, the team size, or reporting lines.  Descriptive, powerful action words are useful here - ‘manage; implement, facilitate… etc.  Consult your Position Description, but remember that you are marketing this job, so the expression of the job needs to be enticing (while still accurate!).

Skills and experience

You need to outline what’s required to do the job, but keep it framed in terms of what is needed to be successful in the role, and remember, keep language positive and upbeat.

List the essential skills and experience, any qualifications or licenses. Identify transferable skills up front, and personally I try to avoid ‘minimum years of experience’ as it’s not a hugely meaningful measure.

About the company

It’s your (organisation’s) chance to shine! What’s great about your business?  What special magic do you do out there in New Zealand?  I always keep it truthful but I truly believe that every business has something unique to offer and you just need to identify it.  Side note: for help with identifying the value proposition of the role, and business, read my blog on EVP.


Please give equal attention to this section, as it’s just about as important as salary, and goes a long way to attracting talented candidates.  Outline any perks, benefits incentives, career development or training opportunities.  

How to apply

Make it easy for talent candidates to apply. Include next steps, an overview of the process and ideally a key contact for questions.


Once you’ve compiled all of your content,  the next step is to build it into a job-board-appropriate format.

It’s here that I think perhaps people sometimes have a little difficulty. It's important to take into account that a large proportion of your audience are going to be looking at job adverts on their phones. Brief, snappy statements and bullet points will make information easy to read and digest. I write my adverts, drawing from my key content with this in mind, and following the format of the job board. This means building a ‘snapshot’ view that job seekers get when they see your advert in a feed of many, and then also writing the longer advertisement for when the job seeker clicks into it.

The snapshot view of how a job advert typically appears in a feed

Use your most captivating, essential information bullet points in that snapshot view to entice many clicks through, and then fill out the longer advertisement with the key role, requirements, and organisational information you have identified. I will spend up to 1 to 1.5 hours building an advertisement because I think it’s worth it. Even when the market was really tight last year, I would often get lots of quality applications, which is a nice problem to have and demonstrates that my ads are doing the trick.  

In summary, a great advertisement will attract great talent, and as a bonus, will support longer-term brand building work to promote your organisation.

It’s a valuable use of your time—but if you don’t have time, then of course, reach out to The People Place for recruitment support, that’s what we’re here for.

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