Attract the Right Applicants with a High-impact Job Ad

by The Giles Agency

In the increasingly heated war for talent, how can you boost your chances of attracting and then retaining the right talent? One important touchpoint in any employee journey is the ubiquitous job advertisement. Although your reputation may proceed you, for many potential employees, this will be the first time they actively engage with your organisation.

99% of job descriptions are painfully long and boring, and that’s very good news for you! Stand out from the sea of job posts with a thoughtfully-crafted, engaging ad that aligns with your brand and resonates with your ideal candidate.

Here are our 5 top tips for writing a job advertisement that will captivate and engage potential candidates:

Copywriting engaging job advertisments

1 Know Your Ideal Candidate

As with all high-impact communications, knowing your audience is key. Before you even begin writing a job ad, make sure you have a clear picture of your ideal candidate by identifying the attributes and experience needed for the role, but also what’s important to them: their challenges, fears, motivations, dreams and desires.

Make sure you address these emotional elements in your ad. Will your ideal candidate be an extrovert who thrives on social interaction? Then make sure you talk about the collaborative and teambuilding opportunities. Introvert? Make sure they know they’ll have space to focus. Are you looking for someone who thrives on hitting targets? Get them excited by telling them exactly how their results will be measured and rewarded.

Emotion prompts action, so pushing these emotional buttons, you will grab your ideal candidate’s attention and dramatically increase the chances of them applying.

2 Showcase Your Brand

According to LinkedIn, 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand when applying for jobs. When writing a job ad, seize the opportunity to get ahead of the curve and project your company’s unique personality and voice, painting a clear picture of who you are. Be sure to highlight your culture and company values and give candidates a feel for what working with you is actually like.

And don’t forget to speak human, not corporate. There’s no need to follow the same old template and trot out a list of well-worn phrases and nebulous bizspeak. Instead, use real speak and a tone that aligns with your brand and will resonate with your ideal candidate.

For example, instead of…

“Must demonstrate excellent communication skills”


“You’re the type who’d rather pick up the phone than wait for an email.”


“The phrase ‘cold call’ doesn’t give you the shivers.”

Don’t wait until the interview to bring your organisation’s personality to life!

Copywriting Engaging Employee Brand Adverts

3 Be Clear and Concise

Readability is crucial. Nobody wants to scroll through lengthy job descriptions and huge chunks of text in order to find the key information. They want to be able to scan the ad and quickly decide whether the role is a good fit for them. Keep sentences short and to the point. Make sure text is broken up, with plenty of white space. Use bullet points wherever possible and highlight key points in bold.

And make it crystal clear what the next steps are with a clear call to action. What do you want candidates to do and how? What information do you need from them? And what can they expect after they apply? Take your readers by the hand and guide them through the application process. Do not make them figure it all out for themselves – it might not happen!

4 Be Transparent

It’s easy to exaggerate certain aspects of the role or company culture while overlooking others in the hopes of winning over a candidate. But it won’t help in the long run if the picture painted doesn’t entirely reflect reality.

Early attrition is a growing problem, and a hugely costly one. One often-cited reason for early departures is a mismatch between the role the employees expected and the role they got. These misaligned expectations can start right at the beginning, with the job ad.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you’re upfront about the challenges, expectations and opportunities associated with the role. Be direct about working hours and overtime, flexibility offered, room for progression, the work environment, and so on. This will allow candidates to make informed decisions about the fit from the get-go, saving you both a huge amount of time, effort and frustration.

5 Consider your Minimum Requirements Carefully

With AI increasingly being given the job of making the first cut, you might want to spend a bit more time than usual thinking about the role’s non-negotiables. If you ask for a minimum of 8 years’ experience, anyone with less than that may automatically be removed from the running. But might 7 years suffice in some cases? And does success in the role really depend on having a related degree, or would a decade of relevant experience be just as useful? AI is a handy tool in the recruitment process but use it with care!

Writing a great job advertisement requires time and careful consideration, but it pays big dividends. Follow the tips above for a strong start, and happy hiring!