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Red flags in job adverts

Posted about 2 years ago by Steve Smaylen
Red Flags2

Writing a job advertisement can seem like the easiest thing in the world. “You just write what you’re looking for right?”.


The job advert is one the most important part of the hiring process. It’s how you’re going to hook in all of those amazing candidates … so why would you want to give them a bunch of red flags at stage 1?

We recently asked our candidate community what their biggest red flags are when applying for a job. The kind of things which make them think “no thank you”. Here’s what they said …

Red flags in job adverts

No salary displayed

64% of our community said that not displaying a salary is a huge red flag.

Whilst there could be a valid reason for not displaying one. For job seekers it says either you’re underpaying your staff or you’re not certain about what you’re looking for.

If you consider it from a job seekers perspective, you could have the best job and advert ever, but without a salary how are they going to know if their financial needs could be met by the business? This paves the way for less applications and more time wasted during the interview stages if potential candidates are looking for a higher salary than you’re willing to offer.

Dual roles

A Graphic Designer/Account Manager a Marketing/Business Development Executive. Though some roles have cross overs, advertising as a dual role can be a turn off for many candidates, especially at a more senior level.

Dual roles promote the idea that the business doesn’t quite know who they’re looking for and makes potential applicants question whether they’ll be stretched across the two disciplines.

Confusing language and terminology

Keep it simple. If applicants have to Google what it is you’re promoting or asking for, then you’re not communicating your needs in the right way.

Overused phrases

“A good sense of humour”.

“Hit the ground running”.

You could mean well by these phrases. But honestly, they’re overused and often conjure negative thoughts about the company.

A good sense of humour could indicate a bullying culture.

Hitting the ground running could mean a new starter gets little training and support.

Try to steer clear of these phrases if you don’t want to raise red flags to potential candidates about your business and company culture.

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Header: Image adapted from photo by Zachariah Garrison: