Thursday 26th of November 2020

Five Top Tips to Write a Compelling Job Advert

The war for talent is waging. The equestrian marketplace is more competitive than ever – and it seems top quality employees are few and far between. So, you have a vacancy to fill – but how do you go about filling it? By writing and posting a job advert of course! But is it that simple? Sarah Huntley, MD of Equine Elite Recruitment shares her top tips to write a compelling job advert.




There’s nothing worse than writing an advert for a job you’re hoping to fill, posting it online or even running it in a local paper or magazine and then either not receiving any responses at all, or perhaps worse still, being inundated with applications from people who are completely not suitable for the role.

An effective job advert is not just a job description. It is a carefully crafted message with the aim of attracting the best-qualified candidates for your job. A job advert is often the first introduction a potential employee has to your business or yard. It is the front line of your recruiting effort, and first impressions are everything, so it is essential to get it right. So how do you stand out from the rest of the crowd?

1. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal candidate

Who is your target audience? If you could describe your ideal candidate what would they be like? Aim your advert towards this person and think about what these people would be looking for in a new role. According to research website ‘Workopolis’, the top five priorities of job seekers, in order of importance are:

Work environment
Career advancement opportunities
Work – Life balance

Is that order of priorities a surprise to you? Remember, great people want to work on interesting challenges with other like-minded people. In your advert, sell the positives of your business or yard so you attract candidates who are excited about the opportunity with your company.

2. Write a job advert, not a job description

The two things have a lot in common, but they’re not the same. In order to write an effective job advert, you may also have to create a job description. In this document, clarify what exactly what the role includes and list the duties required. You should base your job advert on the information from the job description, but the two documents are very different. The primary purpose of the job advert is to get the right people to click ‘APPLY’. 

The advert should skip a lot of the detail about exactly how the role will work (this information can be given further down the line) – and focus more on the culture of your yard or business, goals for the future, benefits you offer and why it’s a great place to work. Don’t forget, is your responsibility to pro-actively ATTRACT the right candidates with a well-written advert. Without doing so, you can’t expect the best candidates to be queuing up at your door wanting to work for you.

3. Keep an open mind

Yes, it’s great to have that ‘ideal candidate’ in mind when writing your advert. However, also be conscious not to have tunnel vision, and too quickly dismiss any other potential candidates. Relevant transferrable skills go a long way, even if they don’t perfectly match your criteria. Many skills in the equestrian industry are widely transferable, and attitude and willingness to learn are key – so look for these qualities first and foremost before turning a candidate down based on their specific experience.

Instead, focus on selling your vacancy to the top people, not cutting out the under-qualified. But won’t you get more timewasting applications doing it that way? No. The candidates, who apply for every job they see, will send you’re their CV nevertheless. Less specific doesn’t necessarily mean more unqualified volume, but might mean that the best people in the industry might give your company or yard a chance.

4. Personalise it

Job seekers don’t just apply for jobs, they apply for businesses / yards / people. The research shows the work environment to be of high importance to job seekers, so don’t leave information about this out of your advert. Let potential candidates know what is so good about specifically working for you! What can you offer that others can’t?

Cover the basics, like benefits, perks as well as a bit about you and what you do outside of your job / career. Make sure you get your personality across in the advert – if a candidate feels ‘connected’ to you through the advert, then they are more likely to apply. Be authentic and focus on what matters. Think about the best job adverts you’ve seen and try to emulate that. Excite and entice in the advert, and you’ll have the best candidates queuing up to work for you!

5. Put it in the right place

Think carefully at where your target audience spend their time (think: social media!) and how and where they might look for work. Niche job boards have been shown time and time again to be an incredibly effective way to recruit. They attract top talent, giving you quality candidates with experience in your specific industry. The best job boards also cleverly utilise their social media networks on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to reach their target audience. Niche job boards offer a quick and easy way to showcase your specific job posting to the audience of job seekers who are interested in hearing about your opportunity. Make your job easy to find for your target audience – and look forward to some top applications!

Ready to go?

Post your advert online now or let Sarah help you write it  –   – with 10% OFF the ‘ESSENTIAL’ and ‘STANDARD’ packages until 16/03/16 with the voucher code ‘BLOG’

© Sarah Huntley and Equine Elite Recruitment, 2016.

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