How Not To Writte… Job Adverts

 

If you’re in business, you’re only as good as the people in your team, and that means surrounding yourself with top-class talent – and we don’t mean in the Peter Stringfellow sense. So when a new role gets created, or Fred the post guy finally retires and a replacement is needed, you’re gonna need to get a job advert out there to fill your gap (Ed: insert your own smutty jokes here).

How, then, do you make your company sound like the perfect place to work, and the job you’re advertising the most enticing role since George Clooney was offered a truckload of cash to drink coffee for a living.

Do:

  • Be clear on what the job actually is, what skills will be required and where it’s located. We all work globally so make sure you put Plymouth, UK not US.
  • State how you wish to receive applications. Is it CV only? Covering letter? Online applications? Answers on the back of a postcard/carrier pigeon/fag packet?
  • If you know the dates already, state when interviews, assessments or other events will take place – people will be want to get these dates in their diary.
  • Include a closing date – or will you be receiving bags full of applications for months and years to come, and applicants will be wasting their precious time.
  • Include details like shift patterns, duties, weekend working and anything outside of a 9-5 routine. These can be deal breakers for many, and peeps need to know up front, and you’ll save yourself a lot of discarded CVs.
  • State the awesome employee benefits your company brings to team members. Shift allowances, extra annual leave, healthcare, in-house creche provision and gym or sporting facilities are all big ticks in the business and corporate world. Don’t worry if you’re a small business, just include all-you-can-eat free cakes. Whatever you’re selling, give your employees a chance to sample or own some – people work better when they feel connected to your products and services.
  • Make your copy clear, friendly and representative of the lovely people you are. The more formal and ‘corporate’ it sounds, the more people you’ll put off the company and the role.

Don’t:

  • Use jargon and other corporate phraseology to try and big up the role. If it’s for a refuse collector, say so – don’t call it a ‘Superfluous Waste Redistribution Operative’ or ‘VP of Sanitisation Engineering’. Others to avoid include: ‘Youth Knowledge Transfer Expert’ (teacher), ‘Beverage Delivery & Transportation Operative’ (bar person) and ‘Controller of First Impression’ (receptionist).
  • Say you must have a certain qualification, be a graduate or have so many years experience unless it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary. You’re limiting your candidate pool and there’s the outside chance it might be illegal too – if you’re not sure, speak with the nice folk at ACAS.
  • Expect a 3,000 word personal profile for entry-level roles. The roles may well be filled by up-and-coming first timers entering the work place so, seriously, how much experience do you think they will have? Give ’em a break!
  • Make people guess the salary. If you can’t budge on the remuneration package (Ed: tee hee, package!), then just state it clearly. If there’s some leeway then put ‘Circa £30k p/a’. You’ll save yourself a lot of time wasters, plus everyone bumps up their salary expectations anyway.
  • Play the ‘hey we’re quirky and mad here’ style and tone too much. Yes, be friendly and informal, but don’t come across as too try-hard crazy (yes, we’re talking to YOU, Innocent Smoothies).