Writing good job adverts

Creating a good job advertisement is vital if you want to attract a high quality of candidate, and give you the edge over your competition in the war for talent. When it comes to advertising on job boards, the only thing that will help you stand out is how engaging you are, and how well your vacancy has been written.

Here are some things you need to think about.

The title

Your title should be clear and simple enough to show up in Google searches. Don’t use a call to action, or any special characters to make yourself stand out: stick to keeping it simple. Don’t over specify the job title, because it will discourage users from clicking on it. What matters is being easy to search for, to the point and interesting.

A good summary

Always include a short description of what the job entails, to increase the chances that searchers will click on it. Keep this succinct: it doesn’t have to be an in-depth discussion of the job, just enough to intrigue the user and make them want to know more.

The job description

Here’s where you need to hook your candidate, and there are several things to cover if you want to do so. You need to be specific about the role you’re advertising for; not only will this attract the right candidates, but it also won’t deceive or mislead the reader.

When writing the main text, it’s important to distinguish in the job specification between the essential things that you need to apply for the job, and things it would be nice for candidates to have. Then include the key skills and core competencies as well as the job specification. You also need to sound welcoming: if you’re not friendly and professional in your job advert then there’s no reason for candidates to think that your company will be either.

You need to describe what it’s really like to work for your organisation. Nobody wants to work somewhere they don’t think they’ll enjoy. The job advert is your chance to sell your company, so try and tell people why you’re the right place to apply to. Use it as a chance to briefly discuss your values and work ethic: it’s a way of dissuading the wrong candidates and increasing your quality of hire.

Finally, keep it relatively short and clear. Looking for a job is hard work so aim to keep the description down to no more than 700 words to keep reader engaged. It also helps to address the reader directly, using ‘you’ and ‘your’ rather than referencing ‘the successful candidate’: this again will help to engage potential jobseekers.

The ending

Provide contact details for any potential inquiries. If you would like your applicants to submit a cover letter as well as a CV, then ask for it.

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