The science behind writing the perfect job advert

Writing an effective job advert is not rocket science. Follow these simple rules and you’ll not only attract better candidates, but more of them.


1. Grab the candidate’s attention (with both hands)
To help your advert stand out from the 40,000 (odd) job ads that get posted every week, you need to get potential applicants’ attention. And fast. A good way to do this is to ask a bold question (like the below advert), or by making a strong statement about the vacancy and company.

2. Don’t waffle (save that for breakfast)
No one has time to read War and Peace these days. So don’t expect them to. As well as the time constraints, it’s a fact that the majority of people viewing your ad will do so through a mobile device. So make it digestible for those on the move. You know, snappy. Layout the facts in an informative, concise way. And hold the waffles. Thanks.

3. Sell yourself
To attract the best candidates you need to give them a reason to work for you. So sell the opportunity…whether it’s a fantastic office, culture, flexible working, awesome money, career progression. Whatever your USP, make sure your candidates know it. Give them the impetus to apply.

4. Describe the dream candidate
Be clear about what the ideal candidate looks like to you. Paint the picture by explaining their key skills and experience. After all: if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So tell the world what you’re looking for, aim high, and see if the universe delivers. It’s surprising how often it does.

5. Give them a task
A quick way to filter out the right candidate is to give them a task to do upon submitting their CV. In addition to a covering letter, ask them to complete a puzzle or write a short analysis on a subject related to the vacancy. Everyone loves a puzzle.

6. Be honest
Tell potential candidates exactly what the job you’re offering entails. Including, what they’ll be responsible for and who they’ll report to. A bullet pointed list is fine. But remember rule two. No waffle.

How to write a good job ad

7. Job title

It’s important that you get this bang on. Get it wrong, and the worst will happen. No one will apply. Actually, worse than that. No one will even read your ad. That’s how badly it’ll go down. But forget fancy job titles, that’s not what does the trick. If it’s a sales job, please, call it a sales job. (Remember that job listings online are found via key term searches.)

8. Advert distribution
To get a good response, people need to SEE your advert. The best way to ensure that it’s distributed widely is to use a multiposting service which can place the ad on all the major, and relevant niche, job boards in the UK. Some multiposting services include a snazzy writing service to makeover your ad, plus the function to collect all of your responses in one place. You know, to make it easy to manage.

For expert help when writing your job advert, contact the Advertise-a-Job team by calling 0161 300 7235 now. Or check out our nifty site.