How Do I Write a Recruitment Advert?

recruitment advertising

Here is a 7 point plan for writing effective recruitment advertising:

1. Format

The starting point for  recruitment advertising is having a consistent format. You should therefore have developed a corporate template which incorporates the Company logo, colours, typeface etc. You can do this in-house on a decent word processor, or have it designed professionally by an agency. Once you have a look you are happy with, all you need is the content!

2. Headline /  Job Title

You may wish to have a headline to attract attention to the advert such as “…where do you want to go to-day? This is extremely difficult to get right, and if you cannot think of something suitable, stick with the job title as the headline. Title is surprisingly important, and you should think carefully about what you call the job. Several studies have shown that title ranks above salary in relation to the importance attached to it by potential applicants! The top of the advert should also contain the salary range, and if appropriate the location of the post.

3. About the Organisation

This is the opportunity to “sell” the company to prospective applicants. You should focus on the successes the Company has had, and the areas where it is or near being a market leader. You should also point out what makes it unique and potentially attractive to applicants. Include phrases like: ..Company is one of the leading suppliers of widgets in the UK. It has achieved significant and sustained growth during the past 2 years and is now poised to enter the next phase of its development with an outstanding catalogue of new, world-leading widget models to be launched over the next 6 months.

4. About the Job

Probably the most important section of all. It is the opportunity to describe the detail of the job in such a way that potential applicants know what they would be applying for. However it is alsovery important to try  and develop a “unique selling point” i.e. what is it that makes this job better / different from other similar jobs in such a way that it would be attractive to potential applicants. Include phrases like: ..this post represents a unique opportunity. The postholder will be working at the cutting edge of widget design technology and will have significant opportunity for career development both in the UK and  overseas. In return you will be expected to work effectively as part of a diverse project team and be capable of working under considerable operational pressure…

5. About the Person

If you have robustly considered the person specification for the post, this section will be drawn from there. It will include the pre-requisite qualifications and experience required. You may also want to point out the sort of personal qualities that will be required: ..proactive, dynamic, good interpersonal skills, self-starting, lateral thinker, flair, innovative, resilient, enthusiastic etc.

6. Rewards Package

Where possible, indicate the salary range and other benefits on offer (a competitive package should have been worked up once the job description  / person specification had been finalised). Where you want to wait and see who applies before committing to a salary level, then you still need to ensure that an appropriate message about the benefits package is given out, e.g.: Salary and benefits are exceptional ….. Salary is in the upper range for the industry, and benefits include……. Salary is highly competitive and will depend on experience and qualifications….

7. How to Apply

You need to decide how you want the individual to apply – standard application form (good for comparison of large numbers of applicants), Curriculum Vitae (good for more senior jobs – gives the applicant a better chance to express themselves; though can be difficult to ensure you get all the information you need). You should give the name and number of someone in the organisation who can be contacted by prospective applicants to discuss the detail of the job. You should also include the contact name, address and email address from where an application pack can be obtained. It is also good practice to put a closing date in the advert.


(Article Reviewed January 2018)

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