How to write a job ad – The basics


What’s the key to writing a successful job advert?

Making your job ad stand out from the crowd can be a challenge, especially if you’re recruiting for roles in a particularly competitive industry. But when you’re focusing too hard on getting noticed, it can be all too easy to forget about the basics.

To help you make the most of your listing, have put together a handful of our top, tried and tested tips to ensure you target the best candidate for the job:


1. Be bold with benefits

Setting your role apart is sometimes as simple as playing to your strengths, as early as possible.

How? By crafting aspirational job titles and descriptions, which are both informative and attractive to potential employees.

For example, a title like “Account Manager – Great Location, Fantastic Bonus Scheme” is more likely to attract a high number of quality candidates than “Account Manager” alone. And, including a more detailed list of your company’s perks and benefits within your job description is also a great way to boost applications.

Still searching for inspiration? Find out what motivates your ideal hire.


2. Encourage reading

No matter how attractive your position is, a dull and dreary description of day-to-day activities is likely to turn off even the most determined of applicants.

So to make sure you’re not losing candidates after the first line, always make sure your job ad is clear, succinct, and easy-to-digest – including headings and bullet points wherever possible.

And whilst covering the essentials (e.g. duties and required skills) is vital, that doesn’t mean you can’t write your job ad in a tone that’s exciting, engaging, and representative of your brand.

That way, you’ll be able to paint a positive (yet realistic) picture of the working environment.


3. Try something new

It’s important to remember that every job is different, meaning every ad should be too.

So, no matter how easy it seems, try to resist the temptation to use the same template for every ad. Instead, take the time to put together a description and person specification based specifically on the vacancy you’re hiring for.

Not only will this make your job ad more accurate, it’ll also ensure it’s unique, interesting, and free of generalisations (see also: clichés).

Finally, as most job boards will allow you to edit your advert once it’s live, always make sure you’re frequently monitoring and modifying it wherever needed – to ensure the best response.


4. Check, check (and check again)

OK, this might seem obvious – but you’d be surprised at how many recruiters fall victim to common (and easily fixed) mistakes.

Not only could they reflect badly on you and your brand, they may also jeopardise the clarity of your job description and specifications; making it harder for candidates to figure out if the role is right for them.

So before you put your ad live, proof read it more than once – checking for typos, grammatical errors, and contrived phrases and industry jargon. Having a colleague check over it is also a great way to avoid any overlooked mistakes.

Because remember: CVs aren’t the only documents that need to be spell-checked.


5. Don’t let them get away

The most important part of any job ad is closing the deal.

This means using persuasive language to add a sense of urgency to your vacancy – whether it’s through phrases like ‘apply today’, ‘don’t miss this incredible opportunity’, or ‘expires soon’.

Without a simple conclusive sentence like this, you might find that candidates are inclined to click off and come back to it another day (by which time it might be gone), or worse, lack the push they needed to apply at all.

Remember: no matter how engaging the rest of your advert was, it could be let down by a bad ending.


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