Chalk and Cheese

A job description and a job advert are two different things.

One of the things that frustrates me about my industry is its proclivity to conflate these two pieces of content.

Posting job descriptions and expecting your target candidates to read them doesn’t work like it did back in the early days of the Internet and job boards. The novelty of being able to find job vacancies quickly has long gone.

So to add some texture to all the preaching I’ve been doing, here’s an actual example of the difference between a job description and a job advert.

What follows are two job postings for the same job. It is (or was) a real job from around 5 years ago, but I’ve changed some of the details to anonymise the client.

One is an edited down job description and the other is a job advertisement. You should be able to spot the difference easily.

£24,000 +

Acme IT Solutions are seeking a Sales Support Administrator. The reason for the vacancy is internal promotion.

We are an exciting, fast-moving business unit that forms part of a global FTSE 250 listed company. Our Camberwick Green office comprises a friendly team of 15 people. We are proud to have won awards for our IT products.


The main function of the role is to support the sales team in all aspects of their process so they can grow sales and achieve their targets.

• Make appointments for the sales team

• Provide customers with quotations

• Follow up with customers

• Address customer issues via email and phone

• Work closely with sales representatives for your territory

• Liaise with internal departments

• Update our marketing and sales budgets and forecasts

• Assist in developing spec sheets, data sheets, price lists etc.

• Help with market research to identify potential customers

• Calculate commissions due to our sales reps


The role will suit a graduate or graduate-calibre person who has 2 to 4 years’ experience in business-to-business sales support / administration. You must have:

• Strong communication skills and attention to detail

• Proven track record in problem-solving and time management

• Ability to work independently and as part of a team

• Salesforce experience is beneficial but not required

Please send your CV to We are an equal opportunity employer.

£24,000 +

Sarah got promoted. Could you?

Sarah used to support our sales team, but she’s just been promoted. Her story is proof that most vacancies here are filled from within – which means this could not only be your next job, but the one after that as well.

You probably want to know what’s involved.

If you’ve done B2B sales support for a couple of years elsewhere, you know what it takes. Keep the sales team happy. Keep the customers happy. All thanks to your efficient communication and admin skills.

You’ll work in Camberwick Green – it’s a pretty little village (and your desk has a lovely view overlooking the duck pond). But there’s no public transport so you’ll need your own car to get there and back. We’ll be honest, that’s why the salary is slightly higher than average for this kind of job.

You’ll sit within a team of 15, all helping our sales force to do what they do best. This means there are plenty of people nearby that you can ask for help if you need it.

If you care about such things, you might like to know that Acme IT Solutions is listed on the FTSE 250 – we’re a global business, which explains why there are plenty of opportunities to move on.

By the way, if you’re wondering if you need qualifications, don’t worry. Your personality is more important than your exam results. If you already know your way around Salesforce, that will help. If not, we’ll train you.

Please click ‘Apply’ or call me; Mitch Sullivan on 01234 567890. Or you could look me up on LinkedIn and message me there. I appreciate that your CV may not be up to date, so just send whatever you have.

Everyone will get a response.

Which one did you find easier to read? That was the job advert.

One last thing. That job description was originally nearly 900 words long. Jackie edited it to save your eyes from bleeding.

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