Write a job advertisement

Job ads are a selling tool—providing applicants with information about the nature and context of the role, as well as letting applicants know what the employer is looking for.

You will need to designate a contact person to respond to queries as required. They should be available and able to speak confidently about the role.

The recruitment and selection directive sets out the information that must be included when a vacancy is advertised. The agency decides whether this information is in the job ad or an attachment, such as the role description.

Job ads generally comprise 2 parts:

  • the initial online search results
  • job details.

The platform used will dictate the number of available characters (letters) and layout.

How to write a job ad. (PDF, 591 KB)


Job details

The job details should build on the information presented in the search results / short description, providing more detail about the purpose and functions of the role and work unit. It should provide potential applicants with a realistic picture of what to expect (work and environment) and what's expected from them.

  • In a few sentences provide an overview of the organisation and the work unit. Why do they exist and what outcomes are they responsible for achieving?
  • Let the prospective employee know what they'll be doing and the skills involved in doing it—this should not be an extensive list of key tasks/duties but a rolled up narrative about the range and scope of functions.

Provide information about expectations, challenges and opportunities:

  • this is not limited to the role itself, but can also highlight external factors, such as the work location
  • talk to your existing team about how they'd describe the working environment and incorporate this in the job details
  • focus on a few key points.

Experience and qualifications

Identify any mandatory requirements and qualifications, along with any minimum experience.

Be realistic about what you're asking for (e.g. don't ask for extensive experience for an entry to mid-level role).

Don't limit experience to the public service—think about equivalencies in the non-government field.