How to write a recruitment advert

Print advertising is getting rather expensive and therefore you either need to keep your advert copy concise or advertise online.

Whether you write for print or online, make sure you speak directly to the person reading your advert. Simply mentioning ‘the successful candidate’ puts doubt in the reader’s mind from the outset. Personalising your approach, using words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ will help the reader visualize themselves in that post already.

While I’ve got your attention, I want to point out it is incorrect to mention Previous Experience. Experience, by its very definition, has already happened, so the correct term would be simply Experience. It’s like saying a square block or a round circle, it’s unnecessary!

Oh yes, and before I forget, stay away from using big, confusing words; it adds time to the reading and can sound pretentious.

The layout of your advert

If you use a headline, make sure it’s short and makes sense. Don’t put it in just for the sake of having a headline; it should be relevant to the role you are advertising.

It might be a good idea to start with a job title, but make sure you use one that is known to the public and not only internally. A little tip – don’t ‘shout’ your job title by using CAPITAL LETTERS. Studies have shown that people respond more positively to lower- or sentence case.

It’s always handy to include where the job will be based. Especially when advertising online or in a national paper.

Talent is becoming more and more scarce and because people are understandably cautious when moving jobs, you need to have a very good employer value proposition. In one or two short sentences, state what makes your company unique. You are asking someone to leave their secure job to come and work for you, so what can you offer them in return?

Now that you have the candidate’s interest, why not win them over completely by writing a sentence or two that flags the most important information of the job. When writing copy for an online job board, try and repeat the job title at least once in this paragraph.

Follow this with what this person will be accountable for in their role, but remember to steer clear of the internal jargon. Also, don’t use abbreviations, this hinders how frequently your advert is picked up during searches.

Now that the person knows what they’ll do on a day-to-day basis, how about now telling them what you need from them? I always suggest keeping this part short and focusing on the important – education, experience and knowledge. Stay away from the soft skills. Everyone thinks they have a sense of humor and can communicate well.

Lastly, don’t make your application paragraph bigger than the rest of the advert. Include only your email address and a closing date. Make sure that your inbox is cleared and working.

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