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7 simple steps for creating the perfect job recruitment ad

Join our team... creating better recruitment ads

If you are drafting a job recruitment ad, the Compass Point Recruitment team have provided 7 top tips to help you create the perfect, effective ad.

The cost of getting it wrong... £132,000?

Time after time, we fall into the trap of writing lengthy, long winded content that puts off even the most qualified candidates.  

Making a bad hire as a result of not attracting the right person for the job can be costly. In fact, research by REC* (The Recruitment & Employment Confederation) suggests a poor hire at mid manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost your business £132,015!

7 top tips to getting recruitment ads right

The more energy and careful thought put into writing a job advertisement, the better the chance of attracting the high-achieving candidate your vacancy requires.

Here are some simple steps to ensure some common job ad mistakes are avoided by composing an effective job advertisement that will guarantee candidate success.


1. Make an amazing first impression

The key to good advertising is grabbing the attenion of the right people.

  • Steer clear of vague lengthy job titles
  • Your headline (job title) should be very clear on what the job is
  • Don’t deceive or mislead the reader


2. Speak directly to your target audience

The most important consideration is to write your job description with your target candidate firmly in mind. This will enable the advertisement to be tailored to suit the available role.

  • Avoid Exaggeration – if a job comes across as being too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Confusing and overcomplicated job descriptions create a major barrier and ultimately put candidates off from applying
  • Consider the queries prospective candidates will be using when job seeking online and tailor the language accordingly
  • Increase searchability by including keywords relating to the job type and the rank of the role. Overusing keywords can equally appear unnatural to search engines – so don’t go overboard!


3. Avoid age-related content and gender-bias terminology

The type of language used in a job ad can imply the type of person you want to employ.

  • Phrases such as ‘We’re looking for a person who is outgoing, lively and ready to bring new energy to the team’ can be perceived as age-related language
  • People tend to stereotype young people as being lively and energetic, so by mentioning these desired characteristics in your job ad may unintentionally discourage older applicants
  • Studies have shown that the use of adjectives and verbs can have masculine or feminine associations
  • Whilst it may not be as obvious as it once was, gender bias words such as ‘leader’ and ‘competitor’ are seen as being more masculine in appeal, whilst ‘support’ and ‘responsible’ are considered more feminine-coded words
  • Gender decode by trying to include gender-neutral terms or utilize both masculine and feminine associated words to describe the traits of the ideal candidate


4. Set the scene with your company story

A brief outline of your company and business sector, using the relevant keywords that will be easily found in search engines will help to attract the desired candidates.

  • A lengthy and overcomplicated history of the brand is unnecessary
  • Use short, one sentence paragraphs and bullet points to convey your content


5. Don’t overcomplicate the interview selection

  • Too many ‘desired skills’ can easily put off a potential candidate if the list of desired skills outweigh the required ones
  • Someone who is perfectly qualified will feel inadequate and probably look elsewhere if they feel they can’t fulfil the long list of ‘desired skills’


6. Keep the layout Clean, Simple and Transparent

Most of your prospective candidates will be job seeking online using smartphones, tablets and laptops during their commute to and from work.

  • Conciseness is key.
  • An effective ad is brief, clear and to the point.
  • Confusing and overcomplicated job descriptions create a major barrier and ultimately put young candidates off from applying.
  • Use short, one sentence paragraphs and bullet points to convey your content.
  • Consider using colour coding, graphics and interesting typography to make the ad more appealing


7. Spell out the application process

Engage your candidate and lead them to contact the right people about the role.

  • Identify what information is necessary to include.
  • Full details of who to contact with links and necessary details such as Recruitment Agency details.
  • Deadline date for application.
  • Finding a candidate with skills, qualifications and personality to fit the exact specifications of a job brief can be hugely difficult.


By following these simple steps to writing an effective job advertisement will get you started on helping the best candidates find you.


Need further recruitment support?

Our Compass Point team are experts at finding candidates for businesses across East Anglia - it's what we do on a daily basis. If you need some help finding the right person, shortlisting candidates or just removing all the time consuming and sometimes stressful recruitment workload, please find out more about us or get in touch to find out how we can help you.


Compass Point your local recruitment experts

Whether you are looking to find yourself a new role or filling a vacancy, Compass Point is your local expert recruitment team. We specialise in recruitment at all levels in AccountancyEngineeringFoodHuman ResourcesIndustrialOffice SupportSales & Marketing and Supply Chain.
From our Bury St Edmunds base, since 1995, we have built excellent local recruitment expertise working with clients and candidates across the whole of East Anglia region including Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Norfolk.

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REC Perfect match research infographic