First edited & published by the Recruitment Marketing Magazine in Australia.

You’ve got a new opportunity in your organisation and you’re looking to attract great candidates. How can you prevent top talent from skipping over your advertisement or being turned off by your layout or copy? Follow these effective strategies to craft an effective, attention-grabbing recruitment advertisement that makes people want to apply.

The best recruitment advertisements are eye-catching, concise and engaging. So start by branding your advertisement to catch your ideal candidate’s eye. Craft your language and layout purposefully, and the only include most important details to keep them engaged and enthusiastic about applying.

Marketing and employer branding

For the majority of candidates, online advertisements are a given. But in today’s information age, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd!

Start by personalising your advertisement by branding it with an attractive header and your logo. Do you have a careers video? Video is taking over as one of the biggest recruitment marketing trends. So feature your careers video if you have one.

Talent is becoming more and more scarce. Because people are understandably cautious when moving jobs, you need to have a very good employee value proposition. Have you crafted an authentic employee value proposition that showcases what makes your organisation unique? If it’s passive candidates you’re targeting, you’re asking them to leave their secure job to work for you. So what can you offer them in return?


Keep your advertisement concise and to the point. On that note, don’t make the mistake of using the header, “previous experience”. Experience, by its very definition, has already happened, so the correct term would be simply “experience”. It’s like saying a square block or a round circle. It’s unnecessary!

Avoid using big, confusing words; it adds to candidates’ reading time and can come across as a bit pretentious.

In your advertisement, ensure you speak directly to your target candidate. Simply mentioning “the successful candidate” puts doubt in their minds from the outset. Personalising your approach, using words like “you” and “your” will help the reader visualise themselves in your post.


If you use a headline, make sure it’s short and makes sense. Don’t put it in just for the sake of having a headline; it should be relevant to the role you are advertising!

It might be a good idea to start with a job title, but ensure you use one that is known to the public and not only internally.

A little tip – don’t “shout” your job title by using CAPITAL LETTERS. Studies have shown that people respond more positively to lower- or sentence case grammar.


It’s always handy to include where the job will be based, especially when advertising online or in a national paper.

Now that you have the candidate’s interest, win them over by including a sentence or two that flags the most important information about the job. When writing copy for an online job board, try to repeat the job title at least once in your first paragraph.

State what the candidate will be accountable for in their role, but remember to steer clear of internal jargon. Avoid using abbreviations, as this hinders how frequently your advertisement is picked up in online searches.

Now that your potential candidate knows what they’ll do on a day-to-day basis, how about telling them what you need from them? I always suggest keeping this part short and focusing on the important – education, experience and knowledge. Stay away from soft skills – leave this for the interview phase. (Everyone thinks they have a sense of humour and can communicate well!)

Lastly, don’t make your application paragraph bigger than the rest of your advertisement. Include the closing date, and the application form or your email address. Ensure your inbox is cleared and working. Screening questions can provide you with valuable insights into your talent pool, but only ask the most important questions to keep the application process simple. Consider submitting a test to ensure the application portal (or your email) is working, and you are not doubling up on the information you are requesting.

Recruitment advertising is a marketing process. So start with your branding to catch potential candidates’ eyes, personalise your advertisement, and build excitement. Use concise, personal language and only include the most important information relevant to the role. Streamline the application process to make it simple and straightforward for your candidates to apply.