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Writing a good job advert

Recruiting new staff is a costly process. Here at IOL we see hundreds of job adverts in the outdoor learning sector. We often get asked for advice on putting together an advert, so here are a few ways to ensure your outdoor job adverts attract the best quality candidates.

The essentials to include in your job advert:

  • Clear job title
  • Good, brief copy advertising the job (not describing it)
  • What experience / qualifications required
  • Career opportunities and benefits
  • Salary level or band
  • Your logo
  • Your webpage/contact details and link to job
  • A clear response process with deadline

Try to avoid:

  • Using a full job description or person spec in the advert – you can link through to that on your website.
  • Using jargon as research shows this can put people off
  • Writing too much text about the organisation

Remember you are advertising your job; trying to sell it to the right people, so avoid just posting a job description. You can also create impact through style; think of the layout of your job ads. Using bold text and bullet points to catch the interest of the reader quickly. (If you are writing it for the Institute for Outdoor Learning jobsite, remember you can’t include text formatting, so focus on your copy content!)

When you receive a CV from a candidate you want the facts. Remember it is the same for someone looking for a job. Initially they want the hard data, salary, job description etc. Try not to go overboard in explaining how wonderful your organisation is, they can always Google you if they are interested.

Be creative with your wording

You are allowed to be creative and even use some humour, but be careful. Keep it relevant and to a minimum. Used sparingly it can convey that your organisation is serious in its business but is run by interesting people, but it is easy to get this wrong. Avoid requesting ‘a sense of humour’ as it can indicate that the job itself is a joke…

Also avoid phrases like “competitive salary” and “great job prospects” as they have become meaningless. Be original and honest. The last thing you want is to take on a great candidate only to find they are disappointed with the job they’ve landed and then leave!

Don’t discriminate

UK law is very clear. You must not discriminate against anybody in relation to disability, race, gender, sex or age. For example you cannot say you are looking for a young person to fill the vacancy or “she or “he” would be ideal etc. See for more info.

Stipulate the qualifications/experience required and leave it at that. If you are clear about the job and what is involved you will be approached by the right candidates.

Advertise in the right places!

Make sure you place your advert where your potential candidates are looking! It is very easy to spend a vast amount of money on advertising outdoor jobs and receive poor quality candidates in return.

For the Outdoor sector, the IOL job site is usually the first place people look. Receiving on average 50-60,000 page views per month, you can ensure that the right people are seeing your job advert. At just £150 per ad it is very competitively priced. Oh and it’s FREE if you are an organisational member!

How to place a job advert on the IOL Jobsite

Best of luck with your recruitment in 2015.


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