job ads

Job Ad vs. Job Description: What You Need to Know

6 Things You Need to Know Before Writing Your Job Ad

You’ve probably heard people say that job postings are “the secret sauce” for finding the best sales candidates…but maybe you haven’t given it much thought until now.

Job ads are a critical component of the sales hiring process. 

If you want to ensure you don’t miss out on top candidates, you have to think about what information you include in your job posting…and that goes beyond merely using the job description as your ad.

So…what’s the difference between a job ad and a job description?

Simple: a job description is a legal document.

It’s what the HR department is involved in creating and modifying. If litigation occurs between an employee and employer, this is where you go to find out who broke which rule to determine who is at fault. 

The sole purpose of a job description is legal protection for both parties! It needs to be inclusive of all required duties, and give folks a detailed explanation of what is required/expected in a given position. 

They need to be taken very seriously since they’re legally binding documents. Frequently, job descriptions are written in very dry, legal terms that are boring to read and occasionally difficult to fully understand.

A job ad is just that…an advertisement for someone to come work for your company.

It’s meant to be short, punchy, interesting, and attractive – the complete opposite of a job description.

So you should never use a job description as a job ad!

Most candidates won’t read the ad or envision themselves in the role if it’s a boring, static “ad” written in legalese.

Using the job description as the job ad encourages thoughtless candidates to apply. The kind who spam their resume out to any and everyone, hoping to get some job, any job.

Remember, your job ad is an advertisement for the role you’re hiring for…you want to get people excited so they raise their hand and say “I’m in, I’ve done that before, and I want to work with you!”

Now that we know the difference, let’s take a look at how you can create the type of job ad that gets noticed and helps you attract top-tier talent!

Keep your job ad short, sweet, and to the point.

A job ad should provide the reader with only enough information to make an educated decision about whether to apply for the position. 

If there are too many extraneous details in the ad, it may discourage people from applying and could hurt your company’s image in the process. Too little information could prevent the reader from making an informed decision about whether they should apply.

Give them just the right amount of info so they’re curious, invested, and eager to learn more so that they apply.

Specify exactly who you’re looking to hire, while working to get non-ideal candidates to self-select out of applying.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but when it comes to attracting candidates, don’t be so broad in what you’re looking for. Instead, be very specific about who you want to hire. 

Do you want a person with a college degree? 

Four years of sales experience? 

Do you want someone with a specific skill set (i.e. building out a new sales territory, developing a sales team from scratch)?

Let potential applicants know what they’ll be doing so that those that lack the necessary skills won’t bother submitting their resumes.

Give potential applicants an insight into the company and your culture.

Provide a glimpse of the company’s values, purpose, and future direction. People like to see what they’re getting into…giving them this information up front will help them decide whether your organization is the right place for them. 

Also, be sure to clarify how the role you’re filing fits into the organization’s plan for growth and development. The best candidates are forward thinking…

Showing them from the start your company is proactively making plans for the future (and how they can fit into them),  attracts the right type of candidates, and assures them they could be successful working for you.

The tone you use in your job ad says a lot about your company, and the position you are hiring for.

Tailor the copy and ad message to the audience you’re trying to attract.

Remember to put the “ad” in “job ad.” 

This is an advertisement! 

You should treat it like you would any client-facing sales copy and get professionals involved in helping you write it if your copywriting skills aren’t up to the task.

The best way to stand out in a crowded sea of employers looking to hire is to give the ad a unique twist. Craft a message that directly connects with the audience you’re trying to reach. 

For instance, if you’re looking for an entry-level inside sales rep, make sure your posting doesn’t read like a job ad for a VP of Sales.

Also, consider the career stage and approximate age of your ideal applicant…are you trying to attract fresh graduates, Ph.D. candidates, or those with 15 years of experience?

Really take the time to consider who the ad is for, and tailor it to them for the best results. 


There are many things to consider when writing a job ad, including the type of position you’re seeking, the number of applicants you’re looking to recruit, and what qualifications you’re looking for in a potential employee. 

You need to keep your audience in mind. It’s important to write an ad that stands out from all the others they see on different job boards and is effective in attracting the right people to apply for the job. 

That’s why it’s important to know the difference between a job ad and a job description. Being certain you don’t confuse them will go a long way towards helping you find and hire the right type of professionals for your sales team.

Leave a comment below and let us know: What about your job ad messaging will you change after reading this article? 

We’d love to know!

900 400 Improve Growth
Share this article
Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies.