How to write an effective job advert

Writing an effective job advert is an essential part of the recruitment process. In the latest article from Go Zambia Jobs we outline how employers and recruiters can attract the best candidates by writing an effective job advert. We also provide a sample job advert that you can adapt and use.

1. Why you need to write an effective job advert

At the beginning of any recruitment process you should think about the purpose of the job as well as the qualifications, skills and experience required for the role.  You can then develop an effective written job advert that will describe the role and outline the candidate requirements. Producing an effective job advert is an essential way to ensure you that you attract the best candidates whilst cutting down on the number of time consuming unsuitable candidates. It will also act as a point of reference during the interview process and post appointment.

2. Who should contribute to writing the job advert

If you work for a large organisation it is likely that you will have a designated human resource department who will be able to identify the most appropriate people to contribute to the development of a job advert. It is always a good idea to involve several people when writing the job advert (even if you are self-employed) as this will help you to generate a more informed, accurate and up to date job advert. It also helps to eliminate any possible bias, including any sub-conscious bias.

3. What do you need to include to create an effective job advert

There is some basic information that should be included in all job adverts. This information includes:

  • The job title
  • A brief description of the position
  • What skills, qualifications and experience are required
  • The application procedure (e.g. CV submission, online application form etc)
  • The closing date for receipt of applications

In addition to the basic information listed above you may also want to include:

  • The stages of the recruitment process (e.g. application, testing, telephone interview, first interview etc)
  • The remuneration range and any other benefits
  • A sense of the organisations’s mission, culture and identity

4. What you should NOT include when creating a job advert

  • Excessive use of internal terminology and/or acronyms
  • Unrealistic or unnecessary levels of qualifications, skills and experience
  • Discriminatory language
  • A lengthy list of all the duties of the role
  • Obscure job titles

5. The importance of presentation and layout

Presentation is vital to the effectiveness of your job advertisement. A well presented job advert will make your job advert easier to understand and will help you to attract suitable applications. In order to achieve this you should:

  • Divide your job advert into clear sections and ensure that each section has a clear heading that is distinct from the body of text (e.g. in bold, underlined or in italics)
  • Use bullet points and short sentences
  • Use simple font type styles (such as Arial, Tahoma, Times) and avoid the use of multiple fonts
  • Ensure that you your font size is appropriate

You can download an example of an effective job advert Sample Job Advert.

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More information

We hope that this article will prove useful to your recruitment. You can find more careers advice and recruitment tips in our Careers Advice and News sections.