Back to blogs

Job Ads Without Bias

Image 2022 10 18 T16 40 27

Job Adverts are what we use to attract candidates. 

Did you know that there are certain elements of a job advert that can significantly impact whether a diverse candidate will apply. 

You may be limiting your candidate pool, without even knowing it! 

At Camino we deliver training for recruiters: How to write a Job Ad without Bias to Attract Diverse Candidates.

Below we have highlighted what you need to do to ensure you receive applications from all demographics. 

Neutralise Your Language

Many words are gender charged, due to their connotations and the gender which they have most often been used to describe. 

For example, dominant, competitive, confident, strong, analytical and determined are all Masculine charged. Some examples of Feminine charged words would be, supportive, collaborative, committed, understanding, caring, personable and honest. 

You should limit your use of these words and where you can choose neutral alternatives. Instead of strong, you could say, able, proven, exceptional, steady, sound or solid.

Sometimes you will find that you need to use a gender charged word to describe something, when using gender charged words in your job ad, you should try to make sure it is balanced (an equal amount of masculine and feminine words). This may sound like a painstaking task but luckily there is an online “gender decoder”you can copy and paste your job adverts into and they will tell you if it is “strongly masculine coded” (too many masculine words) and list what they are so you can easily change some of them! 

Avoid Superlatives 

Apart from helping to prevent your job advert reading exactly the same as every other recruiters out there, avoiding superlatives will help you to attract more diverse candidates. 

Superlatives are words used to express the highest level of something, often an exaggerated expression of praise. Exagerated, i.e. not genuine sounding!!

Examples often seen in job ads are phrases like, world-class, industry-leading and fast-paced. Again, there are neutral alternatives! 

Instead of industry-leading you could say prominent or popular in their space or pioneering a new technology or way of working, you could say well-known or highest performing. 

Instead of describing an environment as fast-paced, you could describe the skills the candidate will need to get up to speed quickly like being adaptable, having excellent time-management, the ability to work to tight deadlines or able to multi-task effectively. You should also outline exactly what the candidate can expect to learn in a short space of time due to working in an environment like this. This will make your job ad more appealing to all candidates! 

Limit Requirements 

Research shows that women are unlikely to apply for a job unless they meet 100% of the requirements, whereas men will apply if they meet just 60%. 

To ensure as many applicants apply as possible, while ensuring you don’t have to sift through loads of irrelevant candidates, you should clearly define 6-8 key competencies with your client and list these as so. Below your key competencies you can have “nice-to-have”, phrasing it as such will encourage candidates to apply even if they don’t have all of them!

Make it Accessible to All! 

The average candidate will spend just 49 seconds looking at a job advert before they decide whether or not it is a good fit. You want to make your job advert as easy to read and digest as possible. Following the below will also help you to avoid literacy exclusion and ensure that dyslexic people can read your ad. 

  • Keep sentences short 

  • Avoid business jargon 

  • Use simple language 

  • Keep paragraphs short (2-3 sentences long)

  • Avoid italics and underlining, instead using bold for headings or emphasis

  • Use standard fonts like ‘sans-serif’ 

  • Use white space/spaces in between paragraphs to reduce visual noise

Follow these simple steps and see if your applicant pool widens.

If you or your team needs more information on writing job adverts without bias please reach out to

If you are a business looking to generally attract more diverse candidates check out our article; Attracting Diverse Talent, in 10 simple steps! And Creating a Diverse Employer Brand.