How to write the perfect job advert?

by in Content, Recruitment, Talent Attraction

Sometimes I feel that as an industry we go backwards. There’s so much good stuff in recruitment communications but in other parts it feels like we’re failing.

Digital recruitment has changed the world, and largely for the better. Media buying and the choices we now make no longer range from thumbing through a BRAD (if you’re old like me you’ll remember – if not it was a yellow pages of media), and nearly all media schedules will be online only. Same principals of media research and buying apply yet we have so much more information available to us, from views, applications and hires. That’s fantastic.

One part that’s gone backwards is copy, namely job copy. Copywriting is an art, and many agencies of old had copywriting departments, with copy writers making even the most dreary of roles sound exciting.

These days, it seems that’s gone out of the window; many recruitment adverts on job boards are simply the job descriptions churned out from the ATS. Let’s be honest job descriptions are boring at the best of times. Rubbish in, rubbish out – it’s no wonder then that the best talent is not applying.

Remember a job ‘ad’ is an advertisement, you’re trying to sell the position. How many ads for cars list out all the parts of the car that you get when you buy it? Do food ads simply advertise their products by listing all the ingredients? No, none, so take that thinking into your job copy. Anyway, here are a few tips I can give:

  • JOB TITLE – make sure your job title will be known and recognised by your target market. If your company has a nuance in the naming of your roles, you can always reference in the body copy. It’s sometimes a good idea to search CV databases that you might have access to in order to determine the most appropriate job title to use.
  • SALARY – if you can put it down, please put it down. ‘Competitive’ and ‘Excellent’ just doesn’t cut it and you might find you’re getting more unsuitable candidates.
  • BODY COPY – opinions vary on whether you should use bullet points, or full copy, but I think this largely comes down to your company brand. In any case, it’s worth adding some information around the following:
    • The company – tell them why you’re doing so great as a business.
    • The location – where the job is based, the department, and what the office environment is like should do the trick.
    • The job itself – you don’t have to include every single aspect of the job, just the best bits. But be realistic too.
    • What you’re looking for – help candidates deselect themselves by making it clear the experience and skills that are needed.
    • The brand – tell them what it’s like to work at your company, why they should apply, what they can achieve there, any unusual perks or benefits.
  • TONE – although this will be dictated by the brand, think about how the ad is written; slightly more informal and colloquial language is often engaging and warm as opposed to “The candidate must…” type language.
  • CLEAR APPLICATION – Give the candidates a call to action to make sure you capture the application. It’s a simple, but essential one!Infographic about writing the perfect job advert

Wave’s handy infographic

A bit of care around the copy going into the process can make all the difference. Your media buying is more effective, your recruitment process is simplified and you’ll potentially save thousands of pounds whilst engaging with the talent that you’re after.