How do you write a great job ad title?

Job search iconRecruiters are busy people and anxious to spread the word about new roles. But resist the temptation to be too hasty getting jobs online. A bit of care up front writing the right job title and description will pay dividends down the line.

Whether you have a complete brief from the client or are writing the ad from scratch there are some simple rules to keep the search engines interested and help candidates find your jobs. Think about your keywords.

You’ll already have your own ideas about what works for your market and probably follow house style, but here’s a few thoughts around search, usability and readability that might help newer recruiter colleagues.

Set expectations

Include terminology that helps the candidate before they click. Terms like ‘part-time’ or ‘night shift’ can help save you paying for clicks from unqualified or disinterested candidates.


Include common abbreviations in your job title. If a job is well-known by a particular abbreviation, job seekers will often include those abbreviations in their searches, so use both. For example, for a registered nurse, consider using ‘Registered Nurse, RN’. Don’t rely on the abbreviation alone.

Write like a human

  1. Be careful with buzzwords like ‘ninja’ or ‘wizard’. They lack clarity and are harder to search for. Candidates will search for ‘social media marketing’ rather than ‘social media ninja’
  2. Use relevant job titles that current job seekers will be searching for. For example, candidates are likely to search for ‘flight attendant’ than the more dated ‘stewardess’
  3. Use the candidate’s language not yours. So:
    client = employer
    candidate = job seeker
    vacancy/career/opportunity = job!
  4. Avoid industry jargon the average job seeker might not use. You can always hedge  your bets with a combination of ‘insider’ and plain English, eg ‘Vehicle Restoration Engineer – Panel Beater’
  5. Be specific. For example include experience level or specialism if relevant, eg ‘Senior biomedical scientist – Histology’ rather than just ‘Histologist’
  6. Make it look like a real job, even if you’re continuously looking for people. Generic long-running job ads are for your own convenience, not the candidate’s and won’t attract the best applications

…and finally

Check and check again. Mistakes don’t look good. You look sloppy and introduce doubt in the candidate’s mind. If your job title is misspelled, it’ll never show up in search.


More on writing great Job Descriptions in the future. This post borrows heavily from two sources:

Let us know if we can help with anything!