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How to write a great job ad

By Trent Mankelow
March 19 2019

Posted in Employer Resources

Over the course of my career, I have written dozens (hundreds?) of job advertisements trying to entice candidates to come work with me. So you would think I’d be good at it. But I’m not. I find job ads hard to craft because I am doing this unusual dance – trying to woo some candidates and put others off, trying to accurately describe the most important parts of the job without going into too much detail, trying to describe the organisational culture without resorting to clichés.

Because of this, I start most of my ads by copying. If I am looking for a product manger, I Google “product manager jobs” and use the results as inspiration. 

Well, finding inspiration just got a little easier, thanks to Good Job Descriptions. It allows you to search for job ads by tags, role, company and keywords from tech companies like Intercom, Lyft, Dropbox and Twitter. There aren’t thousands of job ads, but enough to get you started.

Now, why am I talking about writing job ads in March, when the internships are miles away, in November? Because employers who take the time to get their jobs up early have a distinct advantage. That’s because at the moment we are getting 30-35 students a day signing up to take part in Summer of Tech (45 yesterday!)* and once they register, the first thing they do is have a little poke around, looking for interesting jobs. Except that there are next to none there. 

So steal some copy. Write an ad. And ensure your employer brand, and your job, gets seen before all the others.

*We are getting so many sign-ups because we have been are busy talking to students across lots of campuses. Since the beginning of the month, we’ve gatecrashed 9 lectures where we spend 5 minutes talking to students about the programme and encouraging them to sign, have run two launch events at Vic and Massey, attended two careers fairs and a start-up weekend. By the end of the year, 5,000 students will have registered.

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