How to Create the Perfect Job Listing

Tara Sallis

When you are creating a job listing, you want to attract high quality candidates, give a good impression of your business, and make sure that you do not end up trawling through lots of generic and mismatched job applications.

In this post, we'll take your through our top tips for writing the perfect job listing to ensure you attract the right talent for your role. You can read more advice about the hiring process and read example job adverts in our Employer Handbook.

How do I structure it?

Your job description should be around 500 words, and it should include some important details about the job, without becoming too long and complicated. You need three sections in your job advert:

  •      A company description
  •      A role description
  •      A section explaining why the candidate should pick you


Basic information

You need to include some basic information about the role in every job advert so that candidates know whether or not to apply.

  •      Role title - be clear and choose a title that reflects the true nature of the job
  •      Salary - you could include a range rather than a specific figure
  •      Location
  •      Hours
  •      Essential skills and qualifications

Who are you looking for?

Next, you need to think about who you are looking for so that you can specify what you need from applicants. Remember, your job advert should not describe the perfect candidate, that is unrealistic. It should screen out people who definitely are not good for the role. You are looking for people who you can interview, so you can always get more information about the candidate as the process goes on.

Try and avoid vague statements like: “We are looking for an enthusiastic and hardworking person to join the team.

When you create a list of skills you are looking for, sort them into ‘must have’ and ‘desirable’. If you wouldn’t rule someone out for lacking a particular skill, then do not put it on the must have list. If you specify that candidates must have 2 years of experience in sales, but in reality you would take someone with a year of experience if they were very good, then do not state that they must have two years of experience or you will rule out candidates that could prove to be good.

Try and avoid vague statements like: “We are looking for an enthusiastic and hardworking person to join the team”. Everyone will say that they are enthusiastic, so you will not filter anyone out by including this and all companies are looking for these traits so it doesn’t make your job unique. Try and be specific and stick to clear, objective criteria. This will cut out the irrelevant CVs whilst making sure you don’t put off any relevant applicants.

What do they need to know about you?

You obviously need to be clear with the candidate about the responsibilities that come with the role. Give them an idea of the tasks that they will be doing and what the role will be like.

Do not forget when you are writing your job advert that you are selling your company to the future employee. If you want the best people to apply then you need to make your organisation sound attractive! Tell them a bit about the vision of your business and how their job fits into the wider company. Include any perks offered by your workplace and mention anything the team does outside the office like lunches and socials.

Let them know about the path for progression. Are there opportunities to be promoted? Will they receive additional training? Will they have a mentor? Especially when hiring a graduate, career progression will be at the forefront of their mind so it is important to mention it.

Making corrections

If you are not getting the right sort of candidates, do not be afraid to change your advertisements. For example, if you are getting lots of humanities graduates applying, but you need someone with the technical skills of a computer science graduate, then change the advert to specify the type of degree needed. If you are not getting many applicants at all consider if you are listing your advert in the wrong place, or if you have made a very specific set of criteria that people are struggling to meet.