You’re charged with finding someone to fill an open position in the company. Where do you start?

Likely, you’ll be using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and/or job boards to help you spread the news—but they won’t do all the work for you! Here are some tips to get you started on writing a successful job advert

1. Be prepared

It sounds obvious, but before you sit down to post a vacancy, it’s important to make sure you know what it is you’re looking for. Even if the ad is to replace an existing employee, positions can change focus and develop new responsibilities. Collaborate with the team or manager of the new position to clarify skills and other fundamental requirements. Preparing in advance can help you to vet out the wrong candidates.

2. Choose the right job title

quirky job titlesThe job title is key. It’s the principle element of the ad that will convince candidates to open the description and subsequently lead to applications. The goal is to get a sufficient pool of qualified candidates, so it’s important to make sure the title is clear and specific. Make sure to include focus keywords, sector and the seniority level of the vacancy.

According to research by InRecruiting, it’s best to avoid the use of quirky titles. Calling your Marketing Director a “Marketing Rockstar” can be fun to use internally, but it may have an adverse response on job boards because they are unsearchable. And, it gives little information to what the position actually entails.

If you’re not sure what will work for the position your advertising, try A/B testing. If you use a couple different titles, you’ll be able to compare them to see which one warranted better-qualified results.

3. Use a template

A job advert needs to be clear and easily readable to your candidates. If you’re using an Applicant Tracking System as part of the latest human resources management systems, it should have templates built-in to make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes. But if you’re writing your descriptions from scratch, don’t forget to include these important details:

  • Job Title, Company, Location
  • Role responsibilities: Proposed objectives or tasks that the successful candidate will take on in this position, and how this will feed into the company or team.
  • Skills requirements: Hard or soft skills and attributes. Try to include whether they are necessary or advantageous to the role.
  • Rewards/Benefits: As well as a salary range, candidates will also be looking for other benefits, such as flexible working opportunities.
  • Company Description: What does your business do? Explain a little bit about the industry you are in and how the vacant position fits in with the team.

4. Tell the applicants why they should work for you

You want candidates to put time and effort into their applications, so that you can tell who is qualified before coming in for an interview. Think about what it is that will draw them in. In addition to including what your candidates can expect when it comes to rewards and benefits, it’s also important to give an overall view of your employer brand.


Sara Hultgren author image

Sara Hultgren

Sara is an Experienced Marketing Manager with demonstrated history of working in the (re)insurance and other b2b industries. Sara's also highly skilled in website management, content marketing and digital distribution.