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The art of writing a good job advert

Written by Emma Smith on 09 May 18
The art of writing a good job advert
Knowing how to write a good job advertisement is perhaps the most important skill you can have as a recruiter. After all, candidates can be attracted to your website thanks to the great design and SEO that you may have, but if the job advertisement isn’t engaging, then how can you incite them to apply for your latest vacancies?

And knowing your way around how to write copy that appeals to your next star placement is important for more than one reason. When done correctly, it’ll drive engagement, resulting in more applications and more placements- and it will also pay dividends when it comes to online visibility, giving your SEO a boost and driving more traffic to your site, straight from Google.

But what’s the secret to writing a great advert?

We’ve gathered together a list of insights from our marketing experts for you to peruse.

What the client wants

Before you go ahead and write your advert, you need to make sure that you have all the information you need to hand. Don’t be afraid to ask your client who they envision as their ideal candidate, otherwise you’ll find yourself at a loss for what to include later: make sure you know what kind of person they’re looking for, and the key attributes and skills they should have. For a job advert that fits the brief exactly, go deeper: ask them which essential skills they’d be prepared to compromise on, what the future for the role will be, and why that candidate would want to apply for the job.

A job advertisement is not a job spec

Firstly, it’s important to remember what you’re writing. A job advert is something that is designed to attract and engage a potential browser, and make them want to apply for that role. A job spec is a document laying out the role in detail, taking into account the responsibilities and required skills it entails. With that in mind. make sure that you’re not writing a job spec, and being too dry with what you're describing: in a job advert, you should be selling the role to the candidate, and simply listing what’s expected of them isn’t going to do that. Instead, make the effort to include elements like employee benefits, the chance they’ll have to make the role their own, or the great working environment.

Give people a title to remember 

When browsing the Internet, 80% of people will read your content headline, but only 20% will click through onto your job. You can see why it’s so important that you get it right: after all, the more people click on your job, the more chances you have of finding that perfect placement.

In order to do this, use clear, recognisable terms in your headline, rather than additional characters like ‘!’ or ‘*’. Additions like URGENT will only put people off, as will advertising for multiple roles straight from the get-go: like showing a vacancy for ‘5 x Project Managers’. Not only will it make your browser feel unimportant, but it means they’ll be less likely to apply. It’s also a good idea to avoid non-standard abbreviations, simply because you run the risk of mystifying your browsers- and in a world where our attention spans are comically low, you only have one chance to pique their interest.

Balancing your SEO with content

An average job advertisement should optimally be about 500 words in length, and balance your SEO needs with good content. Your opening line should contain keywords and entice the candidate to read on, whilst your opening paragraph should sell them the opportunity. The body paragraph- which can also take the form of bulletpoints- can then go into detail about your ideal candidate, along with the skills required and responsibilities of the job, with a call to action finishing off the end of the job advertisement (for more information on how to write a great CTA, have a look at our blog here).

Give the details some attention 

We know that Google tends to give priority to jobs that are as detailed as possible, whether they’re stuffed with keywords or contain accurate metadata. Many people tend to overlook it, but it’s easy to do, and it’ll give your vacancies an extra boost that might even put them ahead of the competition. Include the job salary and location, if possible, and include metadata. This is the code that tells Google what’s in your job vacancy, and how to categorise it: for maximum impact, therefore, make your meta description unique- rather than just a copy-and-paste job from the job vacancy itself.

Would you apply?


Once you’ve finished your writing your job advert, it can be tempting to just upload it and walk away, but first you should take a good look through it and ask yourself: would I apply for this job? It’s a litmus test, and it’s one that checks how engaging your writing style really is.

Talk to the experts

At 4MAT, we build recruitment websites that give your job advertisements maximum visibility, whilst our years of experience in the recruitment sector means that we’re uniquely positioned to create websites that will thrive in the market. 

Want to jump-start your recruitment process? Why not talk to our team of experts- or find out more about the ins and outs of recruitment marketing in one of our new eBooks?
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