If you’re wondering how to write a job advert, you may already be aware that writing a good job advert directly increases the number of qualified candidates that you’ll receive. It gets your job advert seen by more candidates, it gets them interested and it leads them to apply.
A good job advert also represents your brand. You want it to show you in good light and help people develop a relationship with your business. Potential customers and clients may see it too!
Keep reading to find out how to write a fantastic job advert in 7 easy steps.
First, here’s a few things to consider when putting these building blocks together. I call them my 4 KISses. (Don’t judge me on that, you’ll remember them easier now)
Keep It Simple. It’s tempting to include jargon and impressively big words, but this will slow down readers (even those with a good understanding of what on earth you’re on about). You’ll only have their attention for so long. Which leads us to…
Keep It Short. You need to be able to quickly capture attention and lead them towards applying before they hit that back button and continue on their search. Reader’s attention spans are becoming shorter, and in the current job market they will have plenty of choice to browse through.
You’ll want to prioritise what information you include. The rest can come later, in a full job description, when the candidate is already interested and more invested in the process.
Keep It Scannable. There are certain sections or pieces of information that a job seeker will want to know before they bother reading the rest. When you write a job advert, keeping it scannable will help people move towards applying in a smoother, user-friendly way. This can mean using bold for key pieces of information, creating clear subheadings and sections, using bullet points, avoiding larger paragraphs and breaking up blocks of text.
Keep It Searchable. After you write a job advert, you need people to be able to find it before they can actually read it. Of course, where you list your job advert will drastically impact this too (this is where using job boards and a recruitment agency comes in handy).
Job seekers are searching online for jobs all the time, and getting your job advert in their results is important. This means on job boards as well as on google. Do this by thinking about which job titles, job categories and locations they’ll be searching for, and include these as keywords when writing a job advert as many times as is naturally possible.
OK, so that’s the 4 KISses out of the way. Now let’s move on to…
Easy, right? However, you do need to put a little more thought in to this. It’s important to keep it searchable.
Pick a job title that does the following:
I’ve seen many companies with new and exciting job titles, presumably aimed at making their teams feel more engaged or excited about their job, or to give them more prestige with customers. (We’re looking at you Sandwich Artists and Floor Hygiene Specialists).
But it’s important to keep in mind that the job title, usually along with salary and location, is the first thing that someone will see in the search results on a job board or search engine. It’s also a major factor in whether it will even appear in their search results in the first place.
If job seekers see a job title that matches what they’ve searched for, they’re more likely to click on it too. So, let’s just call them Cleaners shall we, at least in the ad?
This should include whether the role is full or part time, the location and the salary. Missing out any of these will lead to less applications and increase drop-out rates of those that you do get.
If you don’t want to include the salary (which you absolutely should) then at least give an honest pay bracket. Nearly two thirds of job seekers consider this to be the most important piece of information that they’d want to check out first. You cant afford to lose two thirds of potential candidates. Saying “Competitive salary” will not achieve what you think it will either – if it’s competitive, boast about what it actually is, because if it’s not then candidates will simply drop out later, wasting your time and theirs.
If you want to know what a job is worth, there are some great salary comparison tools available on many job boards or company review pages. Alternatively, speak with a recruitment consultant for market insights.
Location should also cover off whether there are remote working opportunities, or if it involves regular travel.
When highlighting whether the role is full or part time, you may like to include the working pattern here too. It’s also a great chance to boast about any flexibility on offer, which has become more attractive to job seekers recently.
Position this information in a clear, easy to find, separate section. Many job boards will do this for you when you input this information in to the relevant fields. If you’re posting to your own website, perhaps create a separate section for these key details at the top or to the side that’s easy to find.
Here’s where the 4 KISses really come in handy. I’m sure you have so much to say about the job, your business and your existing team, but this needs to be your elevator pitch. It needs to grab attention and lead job seekers quickly on to the rest of the job advert.
You should sell the job opportunity in the same way that you would sell your product or service. With so much choice for candidates, a strong elevator pitch is so important to capture their interest early on.
Consider including the following:
Use short paragraphs rather than large blocks of text, and try and keep to only a few paragraphs at most.
For inspiration on what might grab someone’s attention for this role, speak to those already in that team about what appeals to them. They might know what makes their peers tick better than you.
When thinking about how to write a job advert, the day to day tasks of the job are often the first things that come to mind. However, it’s a section of your job advert that many may only skim through.
Remember, this isn’t a full job description. Prioritise the key tasks that fairly reflect a typical day in the life of someone in this job role, and leave the rest for the full job description later in the process.
Readers should leave this section with a good understanding of what they’d be responsible for day-to-day and the scope of the role. The job title you choose may have varying responsibilities and daily tasks within different companies, so don’t assume that people will already know this information.
You can help job seekers out by using bullet points here, allowing them to scan through it more easily and pick out what is most relevant to them.
This is really the only section that should be about what you want. The rest is there to sell the opportunity. This section is there to give qualified candidates the confidence to apply, and minimise time wasted on sifting through unsuitable CVs.
Start by thinking about the job details that you have outlined in step 4, and what the candidate will need in order to be able to do them effectively. Anything outside of this may be your own prejudice rather than something that is actually required to fulfill the role. That doesn’t mean that your company can’t have higher standards, perhaps aimed at having a certain level of expertise amongst your team, so long as your salary and benefits reflect that.
There is a risk of excluding candidates that you might want to hear from. You can reduce this risk by separating out your requirements in to must-haves (such as licences, professional memberships and minimum qualifications required by law) and nice-to-haves (such as particular types of experience that are useful but could be taught on the job).
Those that tick the must-haves but not the nice-to-haves should still be encouraged to apply.
Fairly laying your requirements out in this way will let people know when they just aren’t suitable, whilst encouraging anyone that would be capable of fulfilling the role to apply.
Again, bullet points are helpful here.
By this point, you’ve done a lot of work. Your job advert has been found, you’ve already got the candidate interested with a compelling elevator pitch at the start, they’ve identified that it ticks their basic requirements (pay, location, working pattern), they’ve seen that the job involves things that they want to do and they have identified that they are capable of doing them.
Now you need to convince them to apply, so it’s time to go back to what’s in it for them. This should include the salary again, any additional remuneration such as bonuses and commission (if there is an OTE, include a realistic and honest estimate here), annual leave entitlement and any other benefits offered.
Use bullet points, listing the best bits towards the top, and use bold to highlight to most important, such as salary.
Some job seekers will skips straight to this section before reading the rest, so make sure that it has impact and doesn’t sell the offer short.
They’re interested in joining you! Now try and close the deal.
Tell them exactly what to do next to apply, followed by what they can expect to happen next in the process. You might want to give a back-up option for applying too, in case they aren’t a member on the specific job board that they found you on, or in case of any accessibility issues.
Some people may want to ask questions first before applying. You can minimise this by ensuring that all key information is easy to find, but I’d recommend giving people permission to contact you, along with your preferred contact method. This will help you to avoid missing out on some suitable candidates that needed to be sure about something before putting the time in to apply, and begins a positive candidate journey.
This section really should be short and simple.
That’s it, you’re done! You’ve written a fantastic, easy to read, effective job advert.
Each step above is it’s own section. Give each section its’ own clear subheading, creating a clear structure and making the overall job advert easily scannable.
Revisit the 4 KISses, proof read your new job advert, and ask others to feedback on it too. Preferably involve others in the team that you’re hiring for in order to make sure that the advert is accurate too.
Now get posting!
We’ll happily write a fantastic job advert for you FOR FREE when you involve us on your recruitment project. And the best bit – our services are entirely free up until the point that you hire one of our candidates. That’s zero risk, so you only ever pay for results.
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