What not to say in your job ad

As important as what you include in your job advert, is what you leave out.

As important as what you include in your job advert, is what you leave out

What you include in the candidate requirements section of your job ad is as important as what you leave out. Here we outline the two most common pitfalls and describe what NOT to say in your job ads.


Many forms of anti-discrimination legislation exist, but the most relevant to recruitment in South Africa are as follows:

Gender-based discrimination: Avoid terms such as “sales man” or “admin lady” and use generic terms instead: “sales person” or “admin clerk”.

Racial discrimination: Terms such as “No Asians” or “English speakers only” are not allowed. In instances where the ability to speak a particular language, or an intimate knowledge of a culture, is key to a position, the candidate's ability is more important than the candidate's country of origin.

Age discrimination:  It is not advised to mention an age requirement, but beware: using the terms ‘young’ or ‘mature’ to describe ideal candidates is also not above board.

Disability discrimination: Recruiters are also not allowed to discriminate against applicants with disabilities, and so advertising positions which require only ‘able-bodied’ candidates is also advised against.

Also note: Excluding anyone on the basis of one of the above points will only reduce the number of potentially excellent applicants matching your criteria who will apply to your advertised position.


Be sure to promote the job and the company advertised in the best light, but stop short at exaggerating the favourable attributes. Aside from opening yourself up to law suits and possible hefty payouts, employing someone under false pretences will damage your brand and create disgruntled employees. 

Top Tip: Use the Careers24 job sectors selection to define fields in which the job best fits. Include no more than five sectors to target the most suitable candidates and reduce unsuitable applications.

Do you have vacancies to fill? Post your job(s) now.