Writing a good advert
It is important to write a good, clear job advert so that you attract attention, get the maximum amount of people and the right people looking at it. Once you’ve got the right people looking at it, it needs to be clear and transparent so that the people who apply know what they are applying for. That way, you are more likely to get the sort of applicant you want!
Teacher recruitment especially needs a good advert. Demand for teachers among schools is high and good advert will start you off in attracting teachers to look at your vacancy.
Below are a few tips on how to write a good advert:
Get the applicant’s attention
This is your first chance to engage the applicant and spark their interest. How your job is summarised in the vacancies listing is key. This is where the important details need to show e.g. location, salary, job title, term (permanent/ temporary, F/T or P/T). Additionally, the opening line of your advert needs to be succinct and interesting.
Inviting candidates to visit the school prior to application can lead to a significant increase in applications.
Provide a short introduction
Keep this to around 40 words and talk about the job rather than the school. At this point the reader is interested in the job and what it entails, more than the school itself. This introduction will help the reader quickly assess if the role is suitable for them. If so, they will carry on reading. Consider and reflect in the advert why someone would want to work for your school/Trust.
Detail the main role responsibilities
Summarise the main duties of the job description as succinctly as possible. The advert does not need cover all the duties of the post holder as the job description attached to the advert will detail these.
Detail the skills required
What skills, qualifications or attributes are you looking for in your ideal applicant? What type of person are you looking for? NB. Be careful not to use words that could be considered discriminatory against certain groups e.g. age, gender or disability. Don’t list everything on the person specification, essential qualifications and skills will be fine.
Research shows that applicants take literal notice of this area and you can affect your response rate dramatically with just a few carefully chosen words.
Provide information about your school and/or wider employer
Applicants looking at your job won’t only be looking at your job. Detail what makes your school different from the rest and why the role is pivotal in the school or how it helps to contribute to the overall aims of the school.
The new Company Page option (April 2019) allows you to provide information about your school or wider organisation in a visual way, automatically linking your Company Page to each of your vacancies and vice-versa.
Detail the benefits an applicant would gain from working for you.
For example, what training and development opportunities will be on offer? Do you offer flexible working/Norfolk Rewards (or similar scheme)/salary sacrifice schemes (childcare, cycle2work)?
Including career development and CPD in an advert has been found to increase the number of applications received.
Next steps for applicants
Provide the applicant with instructions on how to apply.
A contact for an informal discussion or instructions on how to arrange a visit to the school will also help to attract applicants because they will view you as a school who is open, welcoming and approachable – good attributes in a potential employer!
Closing date and interview date
The closing date is important for obvious reasons but adding an interview date will also help an applicant to plan ahead.
Be sure to include appropriate wording to cover your commitment to safeguarding of children (including Childcare Disclosure Regulations if relevant to your setting) so applicants know you are compliant with the necessary statutory requirements and that they will be expected to co-operate with checks.
Make sure you have time to give to writing the advert. Hurried adverts will not attract as much attention as ones that have had thought given to what they say.
Think like an applicant looking for a post in education
Put yourself in the shoes of the applicant. What would you be looking for in a job and the school, if it was you applying.
Keep it brief
Despite there being a lot of information above, to cover, try and keep the advert short and succinct. It needs to catch the applicants eye and get them interested to look at the job information pack (your other important chance to show applicants why they would want to work for you) and apply