Sign up to Orange Genie today!


Recruiters: How to Write More Effective Job Adverts

Every recruiter will at some point have to write a job advert, and it’s an easy task to get wrong. You want to strike a delicate balance, attracting the right people to apply while turning away unsuitable candidates. In this article we’ll explain how you can improve your written advert game.

What the goal of your advertisement should be

It’s tempting to view advertising as an attempt to interest and intrigue as many people as possible, but with a job advert you don’t want to generate queries from unsuitable candidates; the last thing any recruiter wants is an avalanche of unsuitable CVs. Your goal is to get the attention of the exact people you’re looking for, without hooking anyone else.

Research and preparation

Obviously, you need to know about your client’s business and what the role involves, but you also need to nail down exactly what the ideal candidate will be like. You’ll be writing your advert specifically to attract this kind of person, so you need to have a clear idea of who they are.

Rather than creating a “shopping list” of qualities that your candidate should have, look at the space they will fill in your client’s team. What are the team’s current career goals? What do they enjoy about working for your client? How will your candidate fit into and enhance this team?

You can use this information to create an imaginary “persona” describing the ideal candidate for the role in as much detail as possible. You will then write the copy for your job advert with this persona in mind. As well as the usual things like experience and salary expectations, you might consider:

  • What are their career goals?

  • Why are they looking for a new job?

  • What is it about your client’s business that will appeal to them?

  • Why will they be drawn to this particular role?

Sell the impact

People inherently want to be part of something bigger than themselves and make a positive contribution to their world. You can tap into this desire by explaining how their work will impact your client or their customers; tell the candidate a story about how their work will change someone’s world. The more specific you can be about this, the more effective your job advert will be.

Then sell the benefits

Once you have your ideal candidate’s attention, you can go on to detail benefits package on offer. Again, it can be more effective to use examples, to help candidates imagine how each benefit might affect their life. For example, if the client is offering flexible working, instead of, “working in the office three days a week” you might write “two days a week you can skip the commute and hit your deadlines from home.”

The client’s requirements

The job’s requirements will be the driest part of your advert, so don’t open or close with it – it’s best to “sandwich” it between sections that highlight the exciting promise and opportunity you’re offering.

Keep your list of requirements as concise and realistic as possible and differentiate clearly between “preferred” and “required” items.

You don’t want to scare suitable candidates off with a long list of trivial perquisites, but you also don’t want to encourage unsuitable applicants by leaving out qualities needed for the role.

Should you include the salary?

This is quite a divisive issue among recruiters, and the answer, infuriatingly, is “it depends”. There are compelling arguments for and against including the salary, and it really depends on what kind of role you’re marketing and what your client’s priorities are.

You might include it if:

  • You want to discourage applicants with unrealistic salary expectations.

  • The client is not able to negotiate the salary figure

  • It’s important to appear transparent

You might leave it out because:

  • The client is willing to negotiate salary across a wide range

  • The exact salary figure is likely to be a secondary concern for most applicants

  • The client is concerned about confidentiality

Opinion is divided and there are successful recruiters on both sides of this debate, so there clearly isn’t a single approach that always works. The important thing is to make a deliberate decision based on the situation, possibly after discussion with your client.

If you have questions or if we can help in any way, please call our expert team on 01296 486483 or email

Articles Contact us today