10 Things Every Good Job Advert Must Include
Writing a job advert may seem simple, but it’s important. In many cases, a job advert is the first contact a candidate will have with your organisation, and getting it right can go a long way to giving a great first impression to your next hire.
Here, CIPD tutor Leslie Bawden shares the top ten things you should include in a job advert – from the obvious to the often-overlooked.
1. Job Title
This is an obvious one to start with, but nevertheless important. Your job title should reflect the role that the successful candidate will actually do.
This is straightforward for some jobs, less so for others – particularly now that many of us are working from home temporarily.
If the job will be permanently remote, make this clear. Otherwise, be sure to give your normal office location, even if you’re currently working from home.
If the job involves a variety of locations, then your advert should state where the job is based, and outline the weekly or monthly percentage of time spent at each location.
This is rarely mentioned in adverts, but it’s often useful to both candidate and employee.
Some organisations won’t consider candidates who haven’t worked in their sector – sometimes to the extent where they (or their recruiters) insist on it being their most recent role.
This inflexibility may deprive organisations of very suitable candidates with a myriad of transferable skills.
However, if you do intend to filter applications this way, let candidates know within the advert to avoid wasting both your and their time.
4. Salary Details
The salary details for the role should be as clear as possible. Terms like ‘competitive’ and ‘market related’ are ambiguous and candidates’ expectations are likely to vary greatly.
Asking candidates to ‘state their salary expectations’ can lead them to believe they may only be successful if they agree to work for a low enough rate.
Finally, bear in mind that if you give a salary range, candidates are likely to seek the higher end.
5. Type of Role/Contract
Your job advert should provide clarity on the status of the contract. You should tell people if the job is permanent, interim, contract, fixed term, zero hours, or term-time only, and list any other options that are available.
6. Previous Experience Required
If any previous experience is required, you should provide this information upfront in your job advert.
These requirements should be carefully considered. Be wary of including over-hyped requirements that may not be reasonable, or even possible – there are many reports of IT roles requiring ‘10+ years of experience’ with programming languages that have only existed for 5 years!
7. Job Description
If there’s a job description, person specification, or both available, these should be included within the job advert.
A job description gives a detailed account of the role’s responsibilities and objectives. Where relevant, this should indicate how much time a candidate can expect to spend on each activity.
A person specification gives a profile of your ideal employee – from their skills to their personality type.
8. Contact Details
This should give the name of your recruitment agency, plus your company if you’re directly involved in the process.
You should also give the name, email address, and/or phone number of the person dealing with the vacancy. This allows candidates to ask any questions they have and discuss the opportunity as needed.
9. Date Posted/Interview Details
If you have determined set dates for interview, you should include these in your advert.
10. Date Posted & Closing Date
The closing date is obviously a crucial piece of information for all parties.
It’s also a good idea to include the date your advert was posted, as it gives potential candidates an idea of how likely it is that your vacancy is still live.
Ensuring that your job advert covers these ten points will go a long way to creating an open and fair recruitment process – making the best possible first impression on your new hires.
About the Author
Leslie Bawden Chartered MCIPD has been a freelance learning and development specialist for 16 years. His clients have included easyJet, Barclays, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Santander, the University of St Andrews, Sky, DWP, Capita, Lloyds Banking Group and the Ministry of Defence, amongst others. He’s also an online CIPD tutor with ICS Learn.
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