How to write a job advert

Do you struggle to structure your job ads when you’re looking to attract top talent? It’s tricky to select the most important (and interesting) details, but it’s vital to the success of your ad that you write it well, and include the essentials.
Attracting the right candidates and encouraging them to apply is a task that’s made much easier if you have a great job advert. It’s your first contact with a potential employee and the impression you make here could impact on the hire you eventually make.
Here are some tips on how to write a job advert that will catch a candidate’s attention:
  • Essential information

Make sure you include the job title, location, salary and benefits. These details are most effective when placed right at the top of the ad, presented clearly. It’s a good idea to put this information in a larger font than the rest of the ad, or in bold to make it stand out.
  • Grab their attention

The job title and description has the same function as a snappy headline; to make the reader carry on. Remember that you’re addressing a person so the content can be direct. If the ad looks long on the page it’s unlikely to be read all the way through, so keep it concise and use bullet points for role/person requirements; more digestible paragraphs, less war and peace.
  • Keep them reading

After the important details have been listed and you’ve caught the reader’s attention, you can build interest in the actual role. Give a brief description of responsibilities involved and what benefits the successful candidate would receive working for your organisation. What makes this role different, unique or interesting?
  • Don’t just cut and paste the job description

Aside from looking unattractive, simply listing the role and requirements isn’t going inspire many candidates; make it interesting!
  • If possible, give exact job location

People are more likely to respond to an ad that provides a specific location, as opposed to a region or county. You’ll save time because people unwilling to relocate won’t bother applying for roles that are out of their commuting distance.
  • Use an appropriate tone

While a job ad isn’t the place for informalities, you are probably more likely to engage a reader if your tone is friendly; keep it professional though. Apply the same ‘voice’ to the person, role and company descriptions for consistency and readability.
  • Call to action

Get your readers to ‘take action’ by leaving them an instruction, such as ‘apply now’ or ‘send us your CV now’. You should also make it clear how the candidate goes about taking these actions, and include relevant contact details. It’s also worth noting that keyword repetition in your ad will make it rank higher in search engine results.
It may seem as though a job ad isn’t sufficient space to convey everything you’d like to say about your role, but it only acts as a hook, and you can provide more detail if you’re contacted by a candidate. An ad with too much detail and text can put a candidate off at this stage, so keep it fairly simple.
If you’re struggling to attract candidates have you considered that your brand might not be appealing to them? Take a look at Page Personnel’s tips on employer branding to improve your chances of attracting the best candidates.