Beyond bullet points: Crafting Inclusive Job Ads

This article was originally published in der Blog mit Weitblick by period. Magazin on July/2023.

Would you like to attract top talent and create a diverse and inclusive workforce? Gone are the days when a simple list of requirements and tasks was enough. A dynamic and interconnected world requires organizations to show more than just a glimpse of what they offer. Job seekers want transparency, inclusion, and a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be part of your team.

How can you transcend bullet points and craft a job ad that truly distinguishes itself, harnessing the full potential of your organization to attract talent? Let’s get started…


What will you do?

The list of tasks & responsibilities in many job ads is generic and abstract, which doesn’t help you or the candidate. It is important that qualified and interested applicants see themselves in the role and understand how their skills and experiences align with the position:

– convey tasks & responsibilities in a concrete and specific manner;

– use action-oriented verbs and specific examples whenever possible;

– don´t shy away from adding the “non-glamorous” tasks. The job ad has to match the real job, it should not be only an attractive version of it.

You´ll probably have.

The requirements indicated in the job ad will, likely, define who is applying for the position. Therefore, they should be specific enough to filter the applicants but not so specific that people will be discouraged to apply:

– think about the must-have requirements as a list of the top 5 experiences, skills and/or abilities the person should bring to the position (or they would not be able to perform the job);

– do not get attached to an exact amount of years of experience and/or a bachelor’s degree, experience and knowledge come in many forms.

Let´s talk about Language.

There are two essential layers to consider: the language used in the job ad and the working language within the team. The former refers to the language employed to describe the job requirements, while the latter, to the language team members use to communicate with one another, such as in emails and messages.

– write the job ad with the support of an inclusive language tool, in the working language of the organization

– state the working language(s) as a must-have. While other languages, such as the local language of the company’s location, may add to the linguistic diversity, they don’t need to be explicitly mentioned in the job ad.

Next up…Working Hours and Schedule.

The digitalization of work and the possibility of asynchronous collaboration is shifting the traditional working hours. Many companies offer flexible working hours and remote work in their job ad but the reality is: flexibility is limited.

– provide a transparent overview of the expected working hours including time zones, mandatory meetings,  and if they are online and/or in-person.

– be mindful of assumptions regarding flexibility (not only women pick up kids at school). Focus on offering reasonable work-life balance arrangements to everyone.

Yes, we talk about money.

Some regions in the United States and Europe already require companies to state the starting salary or salary range for the listed position. That is a huge step to guarantee fair compensation and tackle the gender pay gap but your company can do more.

– state the exact salary or range that is allocated to the position and explain what will be taken into consideration to decide the salary of a new team member;

– If applicable, highlight additional benefits to showcase your company’s commitment to supporting employee well-being and growth. In case the salary is not as high as that of your competitors, the benefits can balance things out and offer a competitive advantage.

The Process.

We understand the application process can depend largely on the size of your company and the budget allocated to it. However, there are simple changes that will make it more inclusive:

– do not receive applications via email. Instead, use a form (Google Form, Typeform, SurveyMonkey, SurveyPlanet, etc.) with clear instructions. The standardization will help to reduce bias, facilitate the analysis of the applications, and avoid data protection issues;

– be clear about the possibility of sponsoring a work permit, indicate this in the job ad and the form. By communicating this upfront, you encourage international applications and contribute to the diversity of your workforce;

– indicate in the job ad how the applicants should apply. The lack of information can create confusion. Avoid receiving unnecessary emails or missing applications sent via different job platforms.

We only ask for necessary information.

Different countries have different instructions for how a CV should look like. Standardization in this regard will also help to reduce bias and support the applicants and recruiters to focus on what is important.

– state clearly what the CV should contain, only asking for the necessary information;

– encourage applicants to highlight their skills, experiences, and achievements in a concise manner indicating the max. number of pages;

– discourage the addition of pictures, date of birth, marital status, nationality, or religion. Your company is looking for a qualified professional, it should not matter where the person was born or how many years have passed since they finished secondary school.

Those are the next steps.

Even if you are the one hiring, it is important to empathize with the applicants: it is uncomfortable to not know what to expect.

– briefly outline the steps involved in the selection process. This can include initial CV screening, interviews (in-person, virtual, or panel), assessments, or reference checks;

– indicate an email address and the contact person that can support applicants with questions;

– inform the applicants they will receive an email in case they are not selected. We understand this means more work but HR tools offer the possibility of scheduling and sending emails that will support this process.


By implementing these additional tips that focus on transparency and reducing bias, you can further enhance the inclusivity of your company’s job ads and attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates. However, inclusivity is a path that has to be continuously walked, and it extends beyond the job ad. If you are looking to create inclusive hiring practices, reach out to our team.

Download the Inclusive Minds Job Ads Checklist

Julianne Lopes

Julianne Lopes

Consultant at Inclusive Minds

Julianne is a multidisciplinary professional with Law and Conflict Management background. She has over five years of experience in conflict mapping and analysis in professional contexts. Julianne contributes to improving internal processes and communication at work and in educational settings.

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