When you manage hourly employees, writing job ads is something you do fairly often. Hourly workers are often students whose class schedules change or who seek new careers once they graduate. They’re also caretakers, moms, dads, and part-timers with other jobs. All of the realities of these other roles means you will certainly find yourself looking to recruit new employees soon, if you haven’t already.

It can be tempting to post the same ad each time you need a new waitperson, front desk clerk, or class instructor. But hold off on doing that. Yes, it would save you time now to reuse an old ad, but in the long run, you’ll wish you’d done it differently. See, what you’re looking for in an employee may have changed since you last hired people. You want to make sure your job ad accurately reflects your business and who you’re looking. This ensures that you find the right person and saves you the headache of interviewing too many unqualified applicants.

Let’s take a look at how to write a job ad that brings in the best job contenders.

What Information Goes in a Job Ad?

Before we get into how to actually structure and write the ad, here’s a list of the information you’ll need to include:

Company information: It may seem strange to have to introduce the company, but it’s necessary. If you manage a luxury hotel and a potential employee wants a job where he can wear jeans to work, he won’t bother to apply. The company bio gives a brief explanation of what your business is all about. Employees want to see their own values mirrored in the work h businesses where they work.

Job Description: This one is obvious, but you’d be surprised how many vague job ads there are out there. Be very specific about what the job requires, especially if those duties are at all outside the norm. For example, if you run a boutique gym and expect front desk clerks to also clean out the locker rooms at the end of the night, let applicants know that.  

Specific Qualifications: If you expect a certain level of experience or a specific number of years of prior service, put that information in the ad. If you’re looking for people with certain skills, such as wait staff that can also bartend or trainers who can also balance the till at the gym, include that. Also make sure to differentiate between required must-have skills and would-be-nice bonus skills or experience.

Cover Letter: Requiring a cover letter immediately weeds out job candidates who aren’t willing to put a little bit of extra effort into their application. In addition, if you ask for certain things to be included in the cover letter, such as “Include three reasons you’d make a great Pilates class instructor at XYZ Gym,” you’ll see how well the applicants follow directions and pay attention to details.

Salary: Be straightforward about pay and benefits. Don’t make applicants play guessing games.

Contact Information: Be sure to include directions about how to apply for the job. If you don’t want phone calls or walk-ins, include that information.

How to Write a Job Ad

Now that you know what goes in the ad, it’s time to write it. Let’s go over some tips for making your job ad stand out and attract the right people.

  1. Keep it short. Your applicants are busy juggling their day-to-day lives with job searching. Respect their time by keeping the ad focused and to the point. Don’t request specific personality traits (dependable, outgoing, etc.) because people can fake them even when those characteristics don’t come naturally. Keep the ad focused on the business, the job description, the salary, and what they’ll get out of the experience.
  2. Write for your customer. Writing a job ad attracts potential employees in the same way that the services you offer attracts clients and customers. You value your employees, and your job ad should come across as appealing to potential hires. They believe in their skills and what they have to offer and they want to know that you will, too.
  3. Be sure your tone matches your brand. If you run a high energy gym, your job ad should put forth that same kind of energy. If you manage a relaxing spa, your ad should convey the characteristics of the environment. Help your potential employees know what kind of work environment to expect before they even set foot in the door.
  4. Give it a great title. Make sure to include a little extra information in with the job position. Ads with titles such as, “Class Instructor- Set Your Own Schedule, Make Huge Tips” or “Front Desk Clerk with Immediate Management Opportunities” attract applicants looking for ways to continue to grow their careers and income.

Sample Job Ad

Check out the way this job ad is written. It includes a company description, job description, qualifications, salary, and contact information. It is written to attract the best barista in town and matches the tone of the brand—relaxed, yet customer-focused. At fewer than 500 words, it’s short, and even the title gives a little additional information.

Specialty Barista- Make 10-15/hr

XXX Coffee is a locally owned specialty coffee company that services the community, and we’re growing! We are dedicated to providing the best locally sourced coffee and the highest quality service to our customers. We are expanding our staff to support our current two locations, with the potential for growth into other markets.

We are looking for people who want to make a career out of specialty coffee, and can provide all the necessary skills in order to succeed at being a barista, as well as worldwide opportunities for growth in roasting and even growing!

Working with us, you can expect:

– the best coffee training available, both in-house and with our dedicated roasters
– a competitive salary
– the opportunity for growth
– to work with a world-class team

We are looking for candidates that:

– have experience in the coffee or service industry
– are committed to developing a career in coffee
– are capable of maintaining a professional attitude, even under stress
– are constantly seeking learning experiences and expand their capabilities
– have the right attitude and can work with others

If this sounds like an opportunity you could be interested in, please reach out to us with a resume. We will gladly sit down and interview potential candidates and provide more information about the job and our company.

Below are responsibilities and details for positions we currently have available:


Baristas at XXX Coffee are the face of the company. They provide our customers with everything that makes up an unforgettable experience — from professional service and interaction to crafting the perfect drink to providing coffee knowledge. You will need to be able to maintain a professionally friendly and engaging attitude with customers, while also efficiently producing drinks on the espresso bar.

– greeting every customer that walks through the doors
– guiding customers through the coffee and food options available
– taking orders and completing transactions
– crafting drinks and ensuring they meet our standards and the customer’s expectations
– ensuring the FOH is properly stocked with cups, food, bottled drinks, coffee, and everything else that is needed to conduct business
– ensuring the BOH is organized
– maintaining the cleanliness of the FOH and BOH, as well as the restrooms
– meeting with the manager on a weekly basis
– communicating effectively with the entire team

Please apply in person between the hours of 1-5pm at the downtown location, or between 12-6pm at the North location. Or shoot us an email with your resume and availability at <email>!

Full Time/Part Time Available

Take Aways

Writing a job ad that attracts the right people is an art form. A lot of care and consideration goes into what to include and what to say about the company and the position. Remember, you’re selling the new employee on the business just as much as they are trying to sell their skills and expertise to you. When in doubt, read lots of other job ads for the same positions, and see what you like and what you’ll change in your own ad.

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