How to Write a Job Advert to Attract the Right Candidates

How to Write a Job Advert to Attract the Right Candidates
Make your job advert noticeable and effective

Hiring a New Employee

Sourcing the best talent is more difficult than ever. Recruitment is a competitive market and candidates want more than just a job. People are looking for something they love and can enjoy. They want to work for something that really matters to them.

A job advert is the first impression the candidate gets of your company. You need to think carefully about the content, design, and branding when you’re posting a job online. Read on to find out how to write a job advert to attract the right candidates.

How to Write a Job Advert

Writing a Job Advert

Your job advertisement should attract the right candidates, but that’s not always the case.

A job advert tells job seekers that you have a vacancy open. Its main goal is to get people to apply. But you don’t want anyone and everyone to send their application. You need the right candidates to find and apply for the job.

To do this, you need to tailor your job advert to specifically target the right candidates. It’s a long process and needs a lot of thought to be put into it. So, what are the types of people you want to attract to your job advert?

Job Advert Layout

Your job adverts should include the following elements:

  • Job title
  • Company overview
  • Benefits package
  • Job description
  • Required qualifications/skills
  • Further details about the application process

Take a look at some job advert examples on CV Library for inspiration on how to write a job advert.

How to Write a Job Advert

Job Title

Your job title needs to be searchable and generic. The more standard the title, the more frequently it is searched. Try to avoid using phrases such as ‘ninja’ or ‘guru’ as no candidates are searching for these. Yes, they may help to attract the creative and quirky types, but it won’t be found easily on search engines or job boards.

The job title should relate to the job and suit the level of role you’re hiring for. It should also be no longer than 80 characters long.

Company Overview

Include your company name within the job advert if possible. It will give your potential employees a chance to thoroughly research your company before applying. Talk about your company culture, mission, its core values and lifestyle. However, you need to be prepared to deal with eager recruitment consultants wanting to help you search for candidates!

Don’t go into too much detail. The candidates want to know whether they can do the job. Going in depth about the businesses history or its planned growth isn’t of great importance to them. Write a short paragraph (2-3 lines) about your company and this should be plenty of information for the candidate.

Benefits Package

Write a short paragraph about the benefits of joining your company. Show the candidates why the business will give them immense job satisfaction. You should write about everything your company can offer including the benefits package and perks of working with you. Let them know why it’s such a cool place to work.

Responsibilities

Under this subheading, you should include 4-6 bullet points about the day to day activities the candidate will be partaking in. Be clear and concise but NOT BORING.

Required Skills & Experience

Many candidates are put off applying for a role by the list of required skills. Sometimes it’s just too comprehensive. Separate the experience, skills and qualifications depending on whether they are vital or advantageous. Include 4-6 bullet points.

Call to Action

At the end you need to explain the next steps of the application process to ensure the candidate is aware how they apply. If using a job board, simply add something along the lines of “click on the apply button below”. If you’re advertising on your social media platforms, then include contact details for the candidate to send their CV to.

Things to Consider

Salary

Advertising the role as ‘negotiable’ or ‘competitive’ isn’t good enough for candidates. No salary breed’s suspicion. People have bills to pay.

Using a salary (or salary range) in the job advert grabs more people because it makes your job appear in more searches. You also attract the right candidates rather than inexperienced/over experienced candidates.

Location

Be as specific as possible with location (particularly in bigger cities). People want to know exactly where they’ll be working and how long their commute will be. Can they work from home? Is the job fully remote? Include all this detail in the job advert to make sure the candidate knows and understands.

Contract Type

Will the job be permanent, contract or temporary? Does the ad copy make this clear? If it’s not a permanent role, make sure it’s clearly stated within the ad copy.

Screening Questions

Have you asked questions that will ensure the right candidates are applying? You should ask questions that appeal directly to the target candidates.

How to Write a Job Advert

Why isn’t your job advert attracting the right candidates?

You can’t just expect to post a job advert online and hope to get candidates applying.

If you job isn’t optimised, candidates won’t be able to find it.

If your job advert isn’t interesting enough, candidates are unlikely to apply for it.

Job Advert Tips

DON’T RUSH IT

Writing a job advert is a lengthy process. It takes time and consideration. Try not to speed up the process to get it advertised as soon as possible. Rushing tends to lead to sloppiness and carelessness. Make sure you proofread the job advert before you post it online.

LANGUAGE

Use language that will interest your prospective candidate. Address them in second person (you/your) to be more direct rather than using ‘the candidate’. It helps the candidates to envision themselves doing that job. You could also repeat the words ‘we’ and ‘our’ to make them feel involved with the company.

FOCUS ON THE DESCRIPTION

Make it clear to the candidates what they’ll be doing in the job role. Don’t overcomplicate the language and try not to overpopulate it. State the main responsibilities and that’s it.

CONVERSION

You need to include a catchy call-to-action at the end of your job advert to make sure the candidate goes ahead and applies, rather than saving the job for later. Give a sense of urgency and pull on their FOMO with phrases like “Apply today and don’t miss out…”

OPTIMISE

You may write a fantastic job advert, but it’s no good to anyone if it can’t be found. Focus on the job title (this is the keyword) and repeat it throughout multiple times. You can also try other SEO techniques to make your job advert search friendly.

WHERE TO POST

Do some research as to where your target market looks for jobs. It’s ok to use the most popular jobs boards, but you’ll get everyone and anyone applying for your job. The main areas to consider are your career site, online job boards, social media, paid advertisements, local media, recruitment agencies.

AVOID BUZZWORDS & CLICHES

Phrases such as ‘dynamic’ or ‘self-starter’ do not mean anything to your candidates. You should write something honest and natural which will be taken more seriously by the candidates.

KEEP IT SHORT

A candidate doesn’t want to have to read and scroll for ages. With 50% of candidates looking for a new job on their mobiles, it’s best to keep adverts to 700 words or less.

APPEARANCE

Once complete, check your job advert looks flawless. It should be easy to navigate with clear, defined subtitles and easy to read bullet points. It not only makes you look more professional; it also stops candidates from glossing over the text.

UNIQUE IDEA

A really easy (and sneaky) way to reduce the number of unqualified candidates is to include a simple instruction to the candidate. For example, you could tell them to include “I read the job description” in the subject line of the email. This will show you immediately who’s read the advert carefully.

INFOGRAPHICS

To really stand out, use an infographic to share your job across social media profiles. These could be liked and shared to reach a wider audience. The simple images get all the important information over quickly and effectively.

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