Learn which Job posts to apply to get a reply – and forget those which lead nowhere !

Learn how to write the Right Job Ad
Learn how to write the Right Job Ad

As a Recruiter we obviously give Job Advertisements in various media . And also observe a LOT of others .

Frankly, to us, many Job Advertisements seem to exist just to gather some “data ” and keep everyone in the process “busy” – for reasons I have yet to understand fully !

On the other hand, if the Objective is to get the Right Talent quickly, a Job Post has some ESSENTIALS.  These are the ones addressed here. If  as a Candidate you see such in the Post you can be reasonably sure of at least the intent !  Else perhaps you will have a ” apply apply no reply ” situation !

Equally, this applies to Recruiters since they also should be targeting to avoid responses which just clutter their mail box and are not suitable.

So, from this point this Post is addressing such a Recruiter who has a genuine and pressing need so as to help him/her draft the RIGHT Job Post. And for Middle/ Senior level positions, not for entrance levels.

 As a Candidate , look for such Job Posts since these are the best ones to apply for !

A  Job post is an Advertisement – and has to be crafted so. Your objectives have to be clear. These could extend BEYOND just looking for the “ right “ candidate . For example, the objective could be :

  1. Increasing you Company Visibility
  2. Developing a “pipeline “ of candidates, for your “ database”
  3. Just checking as to what is “ out there “

And each will require different methods – right from making the advertisement to its placements in different media.

Here, however, I am going to talk about what we want to achieve when we post an ad. : Attracting the RIGHT candidates for the SPECIFIC position at hand. IMHO, all other efforts are just like spitting in the rain – they don’t count and have, usually -as indicated above – some other objective than filling the position .

So, having set the ground for that, let us proceed further :

a) The Job TITLE :  Obviously it is the FIRST step. And so, should focus on what will get the RIGHT candidate’s attention. You could be limited here by the Website you are planning to use . Some, for example have only a 100 character limit. Others do not allow Weblinks etc, in the Job Title.

Accordingly , you have to work on your Job Title.

For example, for an ad. I posted awhile ago ( the position is filled, btw ) the Title was :


As you can see, in one Snap I have tried to cover the Essentials. Also, I have provided a “ Job Reference Code “ – JXGPF/06 – more about that later.

As said above, you would MOST PROBABLY be constrained by the limits imposed by the Job Portal you are going to use. I am pretty free with mine – that is the advantage of control 😉

And the full job post was :



COMPANY : Global MNC in Heavy Engineering Products and Projects

PROFILE :CA ( ESSENTIAL ) with 1-2 years experience in top Companies with strong exposure to SOX Compliance  (Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance ). Exposure to SAP also helpful. Besides,should have good exposure to general finance, MIS, Balance Sheet etc.

ONLY Delhi/NCR Candidates eligible !

SALARY : Around Rs. 7-8 lacs pa, negotiable


As you can see, a PROPER job description carries fair amount of details which are essential.If you, as a candidate , see such a position with sufficient details, this is a position which is “genuine” and if you fit in on the critical aspects you should make the efforts to apply. Others are , most probably, “fluff” for reasons known best to the advertiser.

b) Company Details : This will depend again on the situation. If you are Microsoft but do NOT want to be flooded with a deluge, maybe you will give generic details. And maybe you can set the “tone “ of a very stringent recruitment process.

OTOH, if you are an upcoming Company, this is the place to talk of your USPs and why should anyone consider a career with you.

If you are a Third Party Recruiter, of course this is the place to develop your Brand Equity as well.

Also, some Websites allow you to put a Logo and a byline as well as a Link to your Website. Others are measly about all these. So you will have to work within those parameters.

c) Details : These includes aspects of the Job such as Qualifications, Responsibilities, Location and Salary. These have a direct bearing on the Quality and Number of responses you generate. Provided someone reads them in the first place !

Which , we know well, does NOT happen . Post an ad. on a heavy traffic Job Portal and you can expect Quantity and very little Quality ( Quality being relevance to the Job Parameters ). Tough, but that is a fact and we face it all the times we give a Job Ad.

At the same time, you can OVERDO this aspect sometimes – fill your Job Description with SO many things that perhaps even the One Above will hesitate before applying 😉

Ideally, the Details should carry ESSENTIAL requirements , and as an add on the DESIRABLES. In any case, if the two put together are exceeding a page length, most probably you need to refine something…..

Besides, if there is a CLEAR “ reject” parameter that should also be clearly mentioned. For example, if you are only looking at LOCAL Candidate, make it clear in the Post !

Again, of course, the Website you are using must allow for these details. Some we know of are SO stingy that you can pretty much put nothing in it. Others, OTOH do provide for details but have other limitations – NO Weblinks, for example !

d) How To Apply : To my mind, this is a VERY important aspect of any Job Advertisement and must be thought out well. I have seen ads which provide NO information and the Candidate has to Log In before applying. OTOH , there are also ads which freely provide an E-mail id and nothing much else !

As a Recruiter I feel that both above are simply when you want to add responses to a database and nothing more. If you are SERIOUS about getting the Right Talent, you have to make extra efforts, while at the same time discouraging non-relevant people from taking your time.

The balance we aim to strike for is given in our example above in the “ How To Apply “ section. This is where the Job Reference  provided above also comes in. No doubt it increases the workload of an interested AND suitable candidate . But  as a Third Party Recruiter we know that those are REALLY the ones to work with !

e) Job Reference : If you are working on specific, focused Job Openings, it is worthwhile to have a system of giving each a UNIQUE Job Reference. This helps to :

  1. Get the E-mails quickly sorted out since many Portals will pick the same from the Job Title and put it in the Subject of responses.
  2. Encourage candidates to apply WITHOUT logging in to the portal, YET make clear the position they are applying for.The can simply mention the Job reference in the Subject of the Mail.
  3. In your OTHER media messages, on Twitter for  example, you can refer to the same Job Posting so that all candidates can quickly find the same.

So, in short this is how an Ideal Job Post / advertisement should be. This will help BOTH the Recruiters as well as the Candidates save time- time in which they can hone up their other  skills !

PS : Of course an ad . can also be as in the Image above, except that even that could be improved, depending upon what the Advertiser wanted. To my mind for example, Salary is one obvious missing factor. But perhaps the Advertiser is flexible on that.

FINALLY, another advise for  the Candidates : Do NOT apply ” randomly ” , particularly if you have any level of experience. READ the Job Post first. Applying to ” all” just on the basis  of some ” Keywords” set in is not only useless but could be out-rightly detrimental to your Career !

Besides, if the Recruiter is genuine , and the requirement as detailed as set out above all irrelevant E-mails may not even be read . Better to focus on Job Ads which meet your skill sets and apply in a planned fashion there !

Any thoughts, criticisms, experiences ? Any example of a poor Job Ad. or a Good Job Ad. ?  Feel  free to comment in !

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