What is the difference between a job advert and job description?

4 minutes

Job descriptions and job adverts sound like the same thing, but, in reality, they have very ...

Job descriptions and job adverts sound like the same thing, but, in reality, they have very different purposes. Each plays a unique role in your recruitment processes. Understanding the difference between job descriptions and job adverts will make your talent search far easier. 

Keep reading to find out the key differences between the two and where they should be used during your recruitment journey.  

What is a job description?  

A job description (sometimes referred to as a job brief) is a document that clearly describes everything you need to know about a vacancy, including the role’s responsibilities, requirements, and objectives.  

The document should be viewed as an overview of the entire role, as it will be used to inform all relevant parties about the role, including internal talent teams, and external recruitment consultants.  

How to use a job description?  

Writing a job description is the first step in any talent search as they are used to inform every step of the recruitment process.  

  • Job descriptions are used to: 
  • Inform internal talent teams and external recruitment consultants about the position 
  • Plan an effective recruitment strategy 
  • Identify the right talent for the job 
  • Write attractive, informative job adverts 
  • Outline the role for potential candidates 
  • Inform the team and wider business about the scope of the role 

As a result, it is without a doubt that writing the job description is the most important part of any recruitment process.   

How to write a job description  

There are six core areas you need to cover when writing a job description: 

  1. Introduction to the business 
  2. Overview of the team 
  3. Overview of the role 
  4. Responsibilities 
  5. Requirements  
  6. Compensation package and benefits

Covering each of these six areas in your job description will give internal and external talent teams the details they need in order to find the best person for the job. 

We have developed a comprehensive guide to support employers in writing job descriptions. The guide includes our unique “funnel” structure and a customisable job description template (which you can download here).  

For more information about each section – what you should include and how it should be used – check out our complete guide to writing job descriptions.  

What is a job advert?  

A job advert is a document used to advertise an open vacancy. Job adverts are usually tailored in order to appeal to top talent, highlighting key pieces of information to encourage applications.  

They are written for candidates who are interested in finding out more about your open vacancy.   

How to use job adverts?  

A job advert refers to any text, document, video or graphic that is used to promote an open job role.  

Different forms of content can be used to promote a job advert. For example, if you’re advertising a job on social media, you might want to utilise the medium that is currently performing well. Video content is really popular across the majority of social media networks at the moment and will get the maximum eyes on your open job role. 

Job ads should be designed to attract top talent to apply to the role and include any information that will help them make that decision. This might include: 

How to write a job advert 

Your job description will help internal talent teams and specialist recruitment consultants write job adverts for your vacancy. As a result, it's important to include all of the relevant information in your job descriptions. 

The format of the job ad normally dictates what information is included.  

For instance, if you're writing a long-form job advert to be published on a job board, such as Reed or LinkedIn, you will want to include all of the relevant information, including: 

  • Overview of business 
  • Overview of role and responsibilities  
  • Priority requirements for the position* 
  • Hybrid-working policy 
  • Compensation package and benefits 

*Do not list too many requirements! This will greatly limit who applies to the role and you’re guaranteed to miss out on top talent. 

However, if you’re creating a graphic to catch candidates’ attention on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, you should highlight the most attractive and informative parts of the job. This might include: 

  • Job title 
  • Company logo and/or industry 
  • Compensation package 
  • Main focus of the role 

And again, for any contract jobs, be sure to include the IR35 status.  

By including all of these key pieces of information in your job adverts, you’ll be more likely to only attract relevant candidates in your talent search. This means that you’ll be less likely to waste the time of both the hiring manager and hopeful applicants. 

Looking for more support with advertising your jobs? Contact us! 

This guide should give you an understanding of the difference between job adverts and job descriptions, giving you a strong starting point in your talent search.  

If you’re looking for more support with advertising your search, we can help! 3Search is a digital marketing recruitment agency, specialising in marketing, e-commerce, product and bid jobs. Gain access to our extensive networks of digital professionals by uploading your job description today. 

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