How to Write a Great Job Advert and Attract Top Candidates

How to Write a Great Job Advert and Attract Top Candidates

When it comes to recruiting, one of the hardest things to master is how to write a great job advert.

Sure, everyone can cobble something together.

But if it doesn’t contain certain things or adhere to the basic rules, it won’t gain the kind of traction you desire.

So, what’s the solution? Bring in a recruitment agency to save the day? Submit a subpar one and hope for the best?

Well, lucky for you, there are certain ways of writing an excellent job advert without the need for agencies.

To give you an idea, here’s an essential checklist to ensure you attract the best candidates.

Be transparent with the salary

Let’s not beat around the bush here. Money matters.

So, if you’re planning on pulling the whole ‘DOE’ (depending on experience) trick, you’re going to put a lot of top candidates off.


For the simple reason that professionals want transparency.

If they’re going to take time off work to attend an interview and make the leap, they need to know whether it’s financially worthwhile.

Imagine making them go through several stages of interviews, only to discover that your salary package is below their expectations.

You’ve not only wasted their time, but yours too.

If you’re not entirely sure how much you want to offer, put a salary bracket.

This will at least let candidates know whether their expectations will be met or not from the start.

You can compare average salaries in your industry by using the calculators on PayScale or Totaljobs.

Include a searchable job title

If you thought keywords were just something you needed to consider when writing web content and blogs, think again.

One of the most common errors companies make when writing their job adverts is to forget to use a searchable job title.

We’re seeing more and more companies trying to inject personality into the job roles by changing the names.

For instance, a company will advertise a developer role as “code ninjas”.

The problem is, these kinds of professionals won’t be searching for “code ninjas”.

Include searchable job titles in the title and the body content.

This will give you more chance of being found on popular job boards and via Google.

Keep the introduction brief

Let’s make no bones about it, the main purpose of a job advert is to sell.

While giving the job seeker an extensive background into the company may seem like a good idea, it actually has a negative effect on winning over top candidates.

As a rule of thumb, use the introduction to tell the candidate exactly what the job is in around 20-30 words.

You can then use a line or two to state who your company is.

Which leads me nicely onto my next point…

Use the power of the brand

If it’s possible to share information about your company, go for it.

According to Glassdoor, 4 in 5 candidates research company reviews and ratings when deciding where to apply for a job, while 84% say a company’s reputation is important.

This means, if your company has a strong reputation, slipping the name into your job advert can really help sell the role.

However, don’t use this as an excuse to harp on about all of the company’s achievements.

Simply regurgitating your ‘About us’ website page will go down like a lead balloon and cause candidates to skim read.

As a result, you might get inadequate candidates missing important ‘must-haves’ and applying.

A few lines about your company will suffice, either cleverly weaved into the introduction paragraph or after it.

The name of your company will do the selling, so there’s no need to go overboard!    

Get specific with your location

It turns out that being precise with the location of the job matters – especially when you’re operating in a big city like London or Birmingham.

Candidates need to know whether the travel is feasible and realistic.

Plus, if you’re in a particularly nice area or on an industrial park next to essential amenities and the main road, these factors can all work in your advantage.

Make the perks stand out

The key to job advert success isn’t all about the content itself, it’s about the formatting too.

It goes without saying that you should be highlighting the awesome company perks and benefits, however, does this really stand out on the page?

Recent research revealed that 69% of employees would choose one job over another if it offered better benefits.

But if you aren’t highlighting these immediately in your job advert, how are they going to know about them?

The best way of presenting these is to make them short and snappy in bullet point format.

It makes them easier to see and more digestible to read, instead of writing a mammoth wall of text.  

Avoid the job description trap

When describing the role, a lot of companies make the mistake of repeating the job description/specification in the advert.  

Yes, you need to cover the specifics of the role, but it needs to be concise and inspiring.

Reeling off every boring daily task will put top candidates off.

Instead, include 3-5 of the most important (and compelling) tasks and key responsibilities.

You need to sell the role and at least entice them enough to apply.

You can show the candidate the full job description later in the process.  

You’re all set!

Hopefully, you’re feeling more confident about how to write a great job advert.

The main thing to remember is to keep things snappy and always sell, sell, sell.

You can go into greater detail about the job spec over the phone or in the first interview.

This part of the process is about generating interest.

Once you master the art of selling through a job advert, you’ll find it much easier attracting top candidates.

In the meantime, if you need any further help in building effective ads, then check out our brand new service at AdBuilder.

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James Ball
Written by James Ball

James is the founder and owner of AdBuilder and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes and advertising.

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