I was interviewing a candidate for a reception post a few weeks ago. He was an excellent

Don't over-sell the job

Don’t over-sell the job

candidate. However, he was very surprised to discover that the post was part time.



I immediately assumed that I had somehow forgotten to include those details in the advertisement, which I had spent a lot of time honing.



However, when I checked, it turned out that the company themselves had decided to take that crucial piece of information out “in order to attract more candidates”.



I could hardly believe my ears. It turned out that we had four excellent candidates, all of whom had applied under the impression that this was a full time post. We had taken them most of the way through the process. As you can imagine, they were not very pleased to discover this vital information so late.




The purpose of your job advertisement


Many people are under the impression that they purpose of your advertisement is to attract as many applicants as possible. This is completely wrong. The purpose of the ad is to attract the right candidate. The idea would be just one, perfect candidate.



Now, I know you can’t expect to get to that every time, but it should be your goal.




Why do you only want a few good candidates?


If you have ever had to sort through hundreds of CVs that in no way match the job requirements, you will already know the answer to this question. As you will if you have applied to hundreds of jobs and not got any response.  



Just going for the numbers is a lazy way of advertising any job and can lead to large numbers of unsuitable candidates.




Honesty is the best policy


One of the reasons people oversell the job is because they think they have to in order to get any applicants at all. But what they are forgetting is that, even though they may think a job is undesirable, there are usually others who would love it.



One of our best headlines for a job advert was:


Help – we are in a real mess – can you sort us out?


The ad then went on to describe a nightmare situation where no filing had been done for over a year.  Guess what? We got several excellent candidates who actually enjoyed tidying up after other people and keeping everything in order.



Being honest will really make your advertisement stand out.


So often when I ask the good candidates why they have applied for the job, they tell me the advertisement really stood out. They liked its honesty and were really excited by the job.



So next time you are doing an ad, make sure you are as honest as you can be, you may be pleasantly surprised by the results.


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One Response to “Overselling the job”

  1. March 27, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Dear Nancy,

    i am agree on your view related to add but most of the time you find the same thing in ad. Many employer don’t put the clear information for the reason of good candidate. It happens many time when something is not in market demand. Many time employer hide the salary too.
    Nowadays corporate recruitment is not good as it was.

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