How to write good job ads by avoiding clichés

Have you ever recycled an old job ad or found inspiration from other job descriptions out there in lack of time and inspiration? Join the club.

Job ads are one of the least evolved tools in recruiting. They are often filled with non-inclusive language, little creativity and corporate clichés that bore the reader. 

At the same time, there is an urgency like never before to write captivating, appealing job ads to stand out in the battle for talent.

To make your job ads better and more genuine we suggest getting rid of corporate clichés in your language. Here is why.

Why you should avoid corporate clichés in your communication

Clichés such as ‘think outside the box’, ‘team-player’ and ‘results-oriented’ are overused expressions and they are often used in job descriptions. But when you use them, you risk showing a lack of originality.

A few other examples of cliches in job ads include: ‘duties may vary’, ‘competitive salary’ and ‘proven track record’.

Clichés will prevent you from standing out from other companies offering the similar position using the same descriptions. Furthermore, clichés are sometimes not inclusive, because they might be specific to language and cultures and may create a communication barrier to international readers.

So what do you do instead?

How to write a good job ad without clichés

When you fall back on clichés and other stereotypical language, it is because you want to make an impression, but you risk making the wrong one. Clichés annoy the reader, and they might make it harder for the candidate to differentiate between you and other companies.

Here is what you can do instead:

  • Think through what exactly you want to say about the role. Be specific. Are you resorting to clichés because you are not sure how to phrase it?

  • If you are about to use a cliché, translate it into its actual meaning. If you want to convey ‘you are passionate’, consider using a less overused alternative such as ‘motivated’, ‘creative’, ‘innovative’ – depending on the context and the role, you are describing.

By taking small steps to remove clichés, you can write better job ads. Try to show originality and use a language that convey meaning. Provide the candidate with jargon-free information about the role and you will stand out in the competitive market for candidates.

Develop Diverse enables you to detect corporate clichés and unconscious bias in job ads by highlighting the words and suggesting more inclusive alternatives.

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