Creating Your Job Advert
Your graduate job advert is competing with hundreds of others. With employment at an all time high in south west England you need to make working for you attractive to candidates. What you write and how you write it will make a big difference to the response you get.
Use our experience to get results.....
Tone, presentation and content
Think of your job advert as a (restrained) sales pitch.
Take the time to explain the opportunity and summarise your requirements. Aim for a professional yet friendly tone and always check your presentation, spelling and grammar.
Candidates respond well to small courtesies in the same way that you would as a recruiter; remember your please and thank yous and consider whether you are able to tell candidates that you will acknowledge every application.
Know your audience
If you want to recruit a graduate, be aware that they won't have bags of experience and make this clear in your advert.
In our experience, phrases such as 'we are more interested in your knowledge, skills and aptitudes than your experience to date' go down well.
You may also consider whether to say that you encourage applications from candidates who meet most - but not necessarily all - the criteria. Skills can be developed if candidates have the right attitude and a willingness to learn.
Open by telling candidates a little about your organisation and write as though your customers will see the advert.
Outline what you do, say how long have you been doing it and outline the successes have you had.
If you have won industry awards or quality marks, list them; Investors in People, Times Top 100 Places to Work, ISO9000 etc all help candidates to form a positive view of your organisation.
Give potential candidates an overview of your core values and the working environment; how many people work in the organisation, do you have other graduates working for you, how do you value and reward staff? Candidates like to get a feel for the company before they decide whether to apply.
When candidates see your advert, they are likely to check out your company social media; is is up to date and engaging?
Take care over your job title. It's the first thing candidates will see and will often determine whether they click for further information.
Make sure the job title describes the role, and if possible, the field of work. For example, 'Events Administrator in PR' is likely to get more interest than 'Administrator'. Keep it factual though. Candidates are put off by 'salesy' job titles and text.
Offer a decent starting salary (we recommend a minimum of £18,000) and state it explicitly in your advert.
Candidates are wary of jobs where there is no salary information. And putting the salary as 'competitive' makes it tricky for candidates to judge whether the role is pitched at their level.
Don't offer a salary dependent upon experience as this may discriminate against younger candidates who have not yet had the opportunity to accrue x years in work.
Training and development
Candidates look for training and development opportunities. Tell candidates what they can expect. It doesn't have to be a formal training programme but some indication of your commitment to training and development will attract candidates.
Be clear where the job is located - it's often a deciding factor for candidates. If you are based away from one of the major towns and cities, it's worth spelling out where you are near - graduates are not always from this part of the world and their local knowledge may be a bit shaky.
Please don't specify where candidates should live - we think that if they meet your criteria, that's for them to decide.
You know what you want from candidates, but have you been clear about what you can offer in return?
List the benefits you offer - they don't have to be monetary - it could be free parking, flexible working, offices by the beach, company mobile phone etc.
How to apply
Don't forget to tell candidates how you want them to apply and give the deadline for applications in the advert. We recommend a minimum application period of 3 weeks.
If you are sending candidates to your website to apply, make sure it is immediately clear how to apply. Applicants can be put off by a broken link or having to search for information.
If you can, give some indication of interview dates.
Our Application Method section gives handy information about how handle applications.