Attracting talent | 5 tips for creating an engaging job advert

5 tips for creating an engaging job advert

Writing great advert copy is easy. Seriously, stop reading this and go check out your competition.

Chances are their adverts (and maybe yours) are not that engaging and are not attracting the talent you need. We’ve put together 5 simple steps you can take to dramatically improve your advert copy. All you need to do now is read this article, download our guide and be brave enough to make the changes!

1. Use everyday language

Far too many adverts are full of corporate speak, written by people trying to sound clever. If you were talking to a candidate, would you use phrases like “the successful incumbent”?

Oh yes, it sounds grand, but it makes your advert look like it was written by a Victorian factory owner. Run your final ad copy through a free tool like hemingway to ensure it has good readability (aim for no higher than grade 7).

2. Ask questions but make sure they are engaging questions

Think of your favourite film. Why do you love it? The chances are you likely watch this film thinking “what would I do in that situation?” This concept is called “displacement” and it’s a very powerful concept that you should use in all your advert copy.

It doesn’t take long to see there are more bad questions than good used in job adverts. Below are two questions from sales job adverts:

Do you want to be empowered to deliver the highest levels of customer care while acting as an ambassador to a pioneering, innovative automotive brand?


Does sales come naturally to you?

The first example is full of corporate speak and is written in a way that it’s not really a question, but rather a sales pitch.

The second question is simple, powerful and designed to make you stop and think. It would attract people with an aptitude for sales and repel others.

3. Change the tone of your entire advert copy

The best adverts ensure that their entire advert copy talks to the candidate. For example, instead of using headings like “Responsibilities” and “Requirements” (boring!) you could use “The impact you will have” and “The skills you will need”. This concept is demonstrated more thoroughly in my job advert template guide.



4. Be funny

Go on then, tell us a joke!

It’s not as hard as you think. You aren’t aiming for laugh out loud gags, just something that makes a jobseeker smile and want to read more. Here’s an example from one of our own hireful adverts:

Would you like to join a small, yet exceptionally brilliant recruitment team in brand new converted office barns? Overlooking some fluffy sheep. Lots of them skipping about, more of them in spring…

I can’t tell you how to be funny, you have to find your own funny. But one option would be to write an email using some examples you’ve seen from other organisations and ask your colleagues to contribute in a “no idea is a bad idea contest” (please note: some ideas will definitely be bad ideas).

5. Write less, say more

Most jobseekers are reading on their mobile and don’t want War and Peace. It’s an advert, not a job/person specification. The research suggests that shorter adverts (300 words or less) attract significantly more applicants.

Now, before you say “300 words! No way, that’s impossible”. It’s not. We’ve generated a Job advert template guide which shows you how to produce a shorter more impactful advert template for you and your colleagues to use. To support your work with this guide, we have also recorded a webinar that walks you through each step.

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