Boss Lady

How to write a job ad that will attract the talent you need: infographic


The recruitment process is about more than filling a vacancy – it is about finding the right connection for your business. If you’re serious about what you do, sourcing and recruiting the talent you need for your company will be an absolute priority. People make the business: they reflect what your company stands for, they get the work done, and hopefully they inspire you to create new opportunities through the unique chemistry you share.

This means that when it comes to announcing a vacant role, you need to make sure that you’re getting your ad in front of the right people, and that it says the right thing to get them hooked. Get a decent pool of talent from which to choose, and your only problem will be narrowing it down to just one person. A luxury problem – and it’s not out of reach if you apply the proper principles to your job ad.

That means, for a start, treating it as an ad, not as a contract. Choose a bold job title that will communicate to potential recruits, and not just to your HR department. You’ve probably got less than 50 seconds of a jobseeker’s time before they lose attention and move on to the next ad, so you need to topload your notice with the meaningful stuff: what the job involves on a day to day basis, the duration of the contract, and why a potential candidate should consider it an exciting proposal. You can get to the nitty-gritty later.

If you’ve still got their attention by this point, you can get them really interested by giving them a fuller picture about your company. Where does your business stand within your sector? What is your vision, your ethos, and what makes you unique – as a business, and as an employer?

Next move onto the candidate themselves. Describe succinctly what you are looking for: between 5-10 specific abilities, precise qualifications and/or a preferred level of education. And don’t forget to add a few details about the kind of personality you’re looking for. Whether you need an organizer, a talker, an ideas person; whether you value a sense of humor, high empathy levels, or someone that is great working on their own. This should reel in candidates who recognize themselves in your description, and also ensure you don’t waste time reading applications and interviewing applicants that do not suit your work environment.

Finish off with the details: wage, perks, location, all the things that the candidates you’ve hooked so far will now be wondering about. Underline your ad with instructions on how to apply, and add contact details for further enquiries. The whole thing should be no more than 700 words long.

The visual guide below provides a step by step to completing each of the eight distinct sections a job ad should have if it is to be effective. With ideas on how to tailor each section to attract the right candidate, it’s a must-check resource when you begin the process of finding new talent for your business.

How to write a job ad that will attract the talent you need: infographic

About Marilyn Vinchy

Marilyn Vinchy is a freelance writer and HR specialist. She works for several marketing and public relations agencies, supporting their content teams. She writes about leadership, careers and personal development, and has a knack for productivity and time management techniques. You’ll find her on Twitter here, and you can also visit her blog.

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