There are many reasons that a job advert could fail to bring in the right calibre of candidates, from the actual contents of the advert to where in the world (wide web) you are advertising.  Luckily for you, we’ve figured out some of these reasons and can help you to attract some more, great candidates.

Where Are You Advertising?

If you aren’t advertising your role in the right place, the perfect candidates aren’t going to see the role, so aren’t going to apply.  If you’re advertising a Plumber role on a Job Board intended specifically towards Admin jobs, chances are your advert will receive no relevant applications (this is an exaggerated example, if you’re planning on advertising a Plumber role on an Admin board, you may want to pass the Recruitment to someone else).

If your role is really specialist, you may want to advertise it on really specialist boards.  If not, you may want to get some help with your advertising, from a company who knows how to recruit perfect candidates, and where exactly they will be.

Is It Properly Optimised?

Optimisation literally means “making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource” so it is crucial for having a successful job advert.

When optimising an advert, there are certain things to think about, the main one being keywords and how many times you use them.  Search engines rank pages according to how relevant they are, and they are deemed relevant according to how many times keywords are featured.  So, if you repeat the job title multiple times within the Advert, it will be more visible on Job Boards.  However, don’t repeat the title too many times, an advert made purely of the words “Support Worker” probably won’t do the trick.

Also, you need to think about the people you are trying to reach.  If you were thinking of applying for this job, what would you search for?  Job titles shouldn’t be too complicated, but if the role is really specialist mentioning one key skill could help to attract the right calibre of candidates.  This means that instead of only advertising for a Developer, you could specialise the title for a Front-End Developer or PHP Developer.

Does Your Advert Sell Your Job Properly?

Are you doing a good job of selling the job you want your perfect candidate to apply for?  If not, your perfect candidate probably isn’t going to apply.  Don’t forget that you are competing against thousands of other jobs, especially if you are advertising in a big city like London.  This means that your position needs to sound like the best thing possible for your dream candidates, or they’ll probably apply to your competitors’ roles instead.

Is The Salary Fair?

If you are hiring for a Head of Marketing role for your huge company in the middle of London, but your salary is a measly £15,000 a year, your perfect candidate is probably going to turn their nose up straight away.  Be realistic about your salary, think about the kind of salary your competitors are advertising for similar roles, and consider what salary you would want in that position.

Also, mention the salary at the top of your advert.  Realistically, considering how much they will get paid is one of the first things candidates will do when considering applying for a new job, so put it in the opening section, alongside the title and location.

Are You Asking Too Much?

This happens ALL THE TIME.  Trust me, I work in Job Advertising.

If you ask too much or set your standards too high for a candidate, chances are you will feel let down by the response.  This leads to trust issues and hundreds of pounds spent on therapy in order to rebuild your stability (I’m exaggerating again for dramatic effect).

But seriously, a recent Graduate probably doesn’t also have 5 years’ experience, so setting this standard is going to make it much, much harder to find perfect candidates.  A recent Graduate may have 1 or 2 years’ experience, so be realistic when writing your Advert.


By now I’ve taught you almost everything I know about optimising job adverts, and hopefully you’ve learnt a lot and can now attract the very best candidates possible – you’re welcome.  If you want more of my advice (I am SO nice), I wrote another blog on how to write an advert in 8 minutes.

If you still feel a bit lost writing your adverts and need some more advice, we are now offering you the opportunity to have your advert optimised for free.  All you need to do is send us your advert and we’ll give you a handy list of tips and tricks which can make it as great as possible.