Writing Job Advertisements (For Employers)

How to craft fair job advertisements that attract the right talent to your organisation.

What Is a Fair Job Advertisement

Fair job advertisements do not discriminate against applicants based on age, gender, race, religion, marital status and family responsibilities or disability.

Why It Matters

Writing fair job requirements in job advertisements can help you:

  • Increase your chances of getting the right candidates.
  • Stand out against competing employers by exhibiting your knowledge of progressive practices.
Note:Applicants can report unfair, discriminatory job advertisements to TAFEP.

What You Must Do to Be Fair

When stating the selection criteria in job advertisements, ensure that they are related to the qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience of the candidates. Don't use words or phrases that can come across as discriminatory.

The Tripartite Guidelines state what you must do as a fair employer to ensure your job advertisements are not discriminatory.


  • In general, avoid using age as a selection criterion unless you are bound by legal or regulatory requirements. In such cases, you may state this upfront. You may also state that a job is suitable for older workers, in support of national efforts to enhance employment opportunities for older workers.
  • If the nature of the job is physically demanding, such as in the handling of heavy cargo, state this requirement in the job description and avoid indicating a specific age group.

For example,

You can state You should not state
  • Candidates are required to load and unload sacks of rice of at least 10kg each.
  • Candidates are required to handle heavy equipment.
  • Recruiting cashiers. Job is suitable for older workers.
  • Minimum aged 21 and above
  • Below 30 only
  • Age 25 to 30 only
  • Young/Youthful working environment


  • Avoid using gender as a selection criterion unless practical requirements are involved. In such cases, you must state the reason clearly.
  • State that "both genders may apply" for gender-centric job titles (e.g. draughtsman, chambermaid).

For example,

You can state You should not state
Health spa requires female therapists to do personal body massage and spa treatments for its female customers.
  • Strong guys needed
  • Preferably female
  • Female working environment


You should avoid using race as a selection criterion.

For example,

You can state You should not state
All races are welcome.
  • Chinese/Malay/Indian preferred
  • Chinese/Malay/Indian only
  • Chinese/Malay/Tamil speaking environment


Avoid using religion as a selection criterion unless the job requires the applicant to perform religious functions or fulfil religious certification standards. In such cases, you must present the requirements clearly, objectively and sensitively.

For example,

You can state You should not state
Hindu priest required to perform wedding ceremony.
  • Christian/Buddhist/Muslim/Hindu preferred
  • Christian/Buddhist/Muslim/Hindu only


  • If you require proficiency in a particular language, clearly state the reason for it.
  • Ensure that your job advertisement is in the same language as your advertisement media. If your job has any other language text, you should provide the reasons for it, which must be job-related.

For example,

You can state You should not state
  • Chinese-language teacher for pre-school centre, good credit in 'O'-Level Chinese required.
  • Translator for a leading Malay sports magazine. Proficiency in Malay is a must.
  • Tour Guides to take Chinese/Japanese/Indian tourist groups. Knowledge of Mandarin/Japanese/Indian dialects is essential.
  • Bilingual in English and Mandarin/Malay/Tamil
  • Native English language/speaking
  • Mandarin/Malay/Tamil
  • Mandarin/Malay/Tamil language/speaking is an advantage
  • Tagalog/Thai language/speaking


Avoid using nationality as a selection criterion. In particular, words or phrases that indicate a preference for non-Singaporeans should not be used.

For example,

You can state You should not state
Only Singaporeans
  • Non-Singaporeans/foreigners/international candidates/[specific nationality]/preferred/ welcome/only/can also apply/will also be considered
  • 新公民 ("New citizen") preferred/welcome/only
  • Specific nationality in describing job roles or titles, for example Italian chef preferred, Spanish secretary welcome
  • Native English speaker preferred/welcome/only
  • Candidates with Korean as first language preferred
  • Candidates’ whose Mother Tongue is Tagalog will have an added advantage
  • EP/S Pass/WP/DP/LTSVP Holders preferred/welcome/only
  • Work passes will be applied for successful candidates
  • S Pass quota available
  • Completed, are exempted from, or are not liable for National Service

Marital Status and Family Responsibilities

Avoid using marital status or family responsibilities as a selection criterion.


Tripartite Guidelines

Refer to the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices to ensure that you abide by the guidelines on all the relevant practices.

How to Be Progressive

The Tripartite Guidelines include not just fair job advertisements, but also fair job application forms and fair job interviews. Such an overarching policy will guide the actions of line managers and supervisors in the entire recruitment process. If you meet all of the guidelines, you can adopt the Tripartite Standard on Recruitment Practices to distinguish your organisation


For more information on these practices: