The art of writing an irresistible job advert

LAURA CHAMBERS • 18 Mar 2024

What makes a job advert stand out and attract the best talent? It's a shop window to your organisation, so doing it well can make a huge difference to the results you see. Here we'll explore the essential elements - from crafting compelling job descriptions to showcasing company culture to getting started with where to advertise.

Why a well-constructed job advert is important

A job advert is the first impression potential candidates get, so creating a well-crafted one is of utmost importance. A compelling and informative job advert that resonates will increase the likelihood of attracting top talent who are not only qualified for the role but are aligned with your company's culture and values.

It should also aim to attract candidates of the highest calibre, rather than being overwhelmed by applicants who may not have fully understood the details provided in a poorly constructed advert.

Write an informative and keyword savvy job title

The job title is crucial to grabbing the attention of potential candidates. It should be concise yet descriptive and eye-catching and indicate the seniority level of the role too - i.e. Assistant or Director.

You don't need to get too creative with the job title either. Using the industry-standard title is our recommended approach (no Ninjas please!). This will help ensure candidates can easily search and find your job advert using the keywords they are likely to use. For added detail, consider expanding the job title to focus on the unique parts of the job. For example, instead of 'Software Engineer', you could use 'Innovative Software Engineer to Drive Cutting-Edge Solutions'. It will still capture the essence of the role by including a recognised and searchable job title, but it can create excitement and curiosity.

Magnifiying glass person

Where is it located?

Is the job location at a single workplace? If it is, then make sure it's clear. Include if they're expected to be in the workplace full-time or if it's a hybrid role. Do you include additional benefits such as travel opportunities and flexibility, then make sure to include these too. It's worth noting that a report by Timewise found that in 2023, 70% of job adverts did not mention flexible working - so if your organisation does have this, then make sure it's clear you offer it!

Key responsibilities and requirements

Remember, this is a job advert and not a job description. A job description typically includes heaps of detail about every responsibility and requirement for the role. The job advert does not need to include that level of detail - the advert is there to attract candidates, not bore them with unnecessary details! Sure, we recommend including some of the key responsibilities and requirements that are essential for attracting qualified candidates, but don't list the full A to Z (candidates can read the full details in an attached job description).

When it comes to requirements, be specific but realistic and, again, don't go into too much detail. Outline the essential qualifications, skills and experience needed for the job and avoid using technical jargon or acronyms that will only confuse candidates.

Salary, benefits and perks

The importance of including the salary in a job advert can't be underestimated. Our own Talent Intelligence research revealed that including a salary can significantly boost the number of applications received. It has other impacts too, a survey by found that job ads which stated salaries saw a 27% increase in applications from diverse candidates. It's also an employer brand thing too - with the same research stating that 48% said that a lack of salary information had a negative impact on how they saw a company. Put yourself in the shoes of the candidate - many job seekers are actively seeking better opportunities and won't invest their time in roles where the pay is uncertain.

Highlighting the benefits and perks of the job can greatly increase the volume and quality of candidates too. Include details about comprehensive benefits packages, opportunities for advancement and any unique perks your organisation offers.

Benefits can include things like flexible work hours, remote work options or a supportive work environment that can be particularly appealing to candidates. Emphasise the positive aspects of working for your organisation and how it can contribute to their personal and professional growth.

Company culture, values and what's in it for them

It's not just the job itself that candidates are interested in; it's the company culture and values too. Showcase your organisation's unique culture and what sets it apart from others. This can be done through simple written content, or even better include photos of your office and the people to help candidates get a real feel for the place. Videos of current employees also work well - record day-in-life videos of employees or a short interview with an employee on what it's like to work there. This will help support your company's mission, vision and core values.

90 percent of candidates consider a company EDI policies important (1)

What's in it for the candidate? Include employee benefits, such as flexible working, professional development opportunities or how you support a positive work-life balance. 

If your organisation is part of schemes linked to diversity, such as Athena Swan or Disability Confident, then make sure these are mentioned too. In our 2024 Candidate Insights report, we found that 90% of candidates consider it important and half feel strongly about it.

How do candidates apply

It might seem obvious, but make sure it's obvious how candidates apply. If you're using an ATS, then there should be several clear call-to-actions to apply for the job. The application should be short and concise and only collect essential information required at this early stage (more details can be collected at a later stage if they are shortlisted).

Where and how to advertise

Job boards will compete for your attention, offering package deals that can save you money compared to buying individual slots. Social media platforms like LinkedIn will actively promote their paid job advertising packages too. It can all get very expensive, so what other options are available? We suggest following these steps:

Capitalise on organic search traffic. This accounts for at least 50% of job applications. If you're using an ATS, ensure it's optimised for Google Jobs to increase visibility without any extra cost.

Advertise on Indeed. It's one of the largest job aggregators and will likely 'scrape' your job advert if you include it on your careers site. If you're using an ATS, then they should 'push' the advert to Indeed too. In any case, your job advert will ultimately appear on the largest job board available at no cost.

Use social media. Channels like LinkedIn are a great place to share job adverts. Share it on your company's LinkedIn profile for free, then encourage employees to share it with their networks too.

Tap into your employee referral programs. Spread the word about vacancies by using your employee's networks, connections, friends, family or professional acquaintances.

By following these recommendations, you can promote your job openings effectively and cost-efficiently, reaching a wider audience through popular online platforms. Remember to track the sources of your applications to identify the most successful channels for hiring.

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