Job adverts that get applicants – Part 2 of 2

Following on from Part 1, we now look at more ways to improve job adverts, using the Attention, Interest, Desire and Action model (AIDA). We discussed Attention in Part 1 and we will now look at the other three elements of AIDA.



First section

The first section of your advert needs to be the most compelling as this will influence whether a potential applicant reads the rest of the advert. Brainstorming the most attractive and interesting elements of your role and then ensuring these are in the first section of your ad is good practice.

Be brief on company details and concentrate on why someone would want to work for you, what the role is and what YOU have to offer as an employer. If you feel the need to include a lot of detail then include this in an attachment, if possible or at least at the bottom of the advert.



In order to engage readers the tone of the advert is very important. Avoid using words that are unclear or confusing e.g. acronyms. Be clear and concise and avoid too much lengthy and wordy business speak. Use enticing language and power words and use active rather than passive language to sell the role.

Readability is important. Use short paragraphs and bullet points. This is much more reader-friendly and allows the reader to scan for key information quickly.

It is important that the language you use addresses the candidate directly e.g. “Your career development” or “You will have responsibility for”. Be personable and positive. Rather than saying “You need to have strong brand management experience” say “Do you have strong brand experience?” Make the reader think about whether they are suitable whilst still engaging them.



There is a fine balance between stating too many detailed requirements and being too vague. Vague adverts get more applications, but the quality drops and you are not engaging those who are best suited to the role. Cumbersome, lengthy adverts with a 101 requirements decrease the number of applicants as many will not bother to read it or feel the requirements are excessive (even strong applicants).

Including ‘Essential’ criteria is important and I would encourage this. However, avoid too much ‘Desired’ criteria as this could make or break an applicant. There will be some areas that you as an employer would be more willing to flex on than others. Really think about what you cannot compromise on and also what you can flex on.



From a job seeker’s perspective, a good advert should answer one key question – Why is this job right for me? As well as outlining company benefits, talk about career opportunities and development. What else does the company have to offer the job seeker?

Sell, sell, sell the opportunity. Is your company launching a new product? Entering a new period of growth, expanding and diversifying? Growing internationally? Creating a new department? The job needs to sounds exciting and attractive.

An important area that candidates always want to know about is your culture. The more they can learn about this, the better. Include links to your company page (if informative) and if you have social media pages such as LinkedIn and Facebook, then include links to these. Make it easier for a candidate to learn more about your company. Don’t assume they already know about you.


You want candidates to apply, right? Then actively encourage them to do so. Create a sense of urgency, outline next steps to apply and do include a closing date. Believe it or not despite showing initial interest, candidates can be slow to apply. Use action words like “Apply now” or “Don’t miss out”.


In summary, always remember that your advert needs to attract qood quality candidates and in order to do this, you cannot simply write it like a job description. You are selling the job first and foremost. Put yourself in the position of the reader and ask yourself, would this role attract me? Job adverts are a two way street.

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