Job adverts – how to write them

Use one headline and make the job relevant and clear.  It could simply be the job title itself which is what people are looking for.  If the job title doesn’t describe the job, then a use a bold strapline to catch attention. If the job title is hard to understand, then give the job a more understandable title.  

If the organisation is well known and has a good brand or reputation, use the brand or name prominently.

Make the advert easy to read. Use simple language that your readers understand and avoid complicated words.  Use space round text to attract attention.

Use short sentences of 15 words or less.

Use bullet points and short paragraphs.

Use simple type-styles such as Arial or Times, or your house-style equivalents or variations. Serif fonts (like Times) are more traditional and more readable. Sans serif (like Arial) are more modern-looking, but are less easy to read especially for a lot of text.

Use 12-18 point-size for headings and avoid capitals in headings as they are hard to read. CAPITALS HAVE NO WORD SHAPES. Use ten, eleven or twelve point-size for the main text;  Avoid italics, shadows, weird colours as none of these improve readability. Use black text on a white background for maximum readability.

Get the reader involved by referring to the reader as ‘you’ as this helps people to visualise themselves in the role.

Try to say something new or different to create excitement.

Emphasise what makes your job and organization special.

You must include a call to action ie send a CV, call this number, get an application form etc.

The best position for adverts on a job page is top right corner as your eye is naturally drawn right on turning over the page.

Resist the temptation to buy a half-page or a full page – a quarter of a page is adequate in most publications. Big adverts do not necessarily produce a big response and you can run a smaller advert more often to get a bigger exposure ie use your resources more efficiently.  

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